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MuseumNext — 2018

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

MuseumNext returned to Amsterdam in October 2018 with a one day conference on the digital side of museums. This MuseumNext Tech Summit brought together those interested in digital transformation within the cultural sector, with delegates travelling from as far away as South Korea, Australia and the United States to attend.

The conference started with a fast paced and entertaining keynote presentation from Shannon Darrough, Director of Digital Media at MoMA who challenged delegates to think about the cost of saying ‘Yes’. He spoke about the problem of building digital products and projects with too many ideas incorporated into them and laid out strategies to make sure management know that with limited resources committing to one idea means not doing something else.

Shannon was followed by Michael Geithner from the DDR Museum. Michael spoke about applying the principals of games design to his museum, sharing case studies of some of his successful projects and talking about how they evaluate success.

The presentation was followed by Dave Patten from Science Museum, who shared his own experience of using games in his museum. He highlighted the successes and failures that he’s experienced over the past few decades, talking about working with partners to produce games for audiences with multi-million dollar expectations (when museums only have tens of thousands at best).

Before lunch we heard from our conference sponsors Wunder who shared their PATRON PROTOCOL OS, this monetizes digitally native art forms like video art, sound art, photography and VR/AR/XR art by offering asset-backed tokens – fractional ownership of a master copy – to hold value creation from a global network of temporary access holders.

After lunch Laura Hubber from J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles shared how her museum had created a unique audio experience based on the Percy Jackson series of books and movies. By combining the collection and this fictional universe, the museum could reach out to audiences who might not consider visiting.

Laura was followed by Jennifer Pullar from the Natural History Museum in London who shared the incredibly ambitious project to digitise 80 million objects from their collection. The breadth of the objects digitised and the way in which they are putting this research to good use is incredibly impressive.

Staying on the subject of collections, Martin Gebhardt from Adidas shared the companies rich history, and spoke about how his team share this to inspire both colleagues and consumers.

After a short break, Kate Huckle from the Royal Academy of Arts spoke about their online collection, and how they are deigning to engage audiences with ever diminishing attention spans. This was swiftly followed by another presentation which looked at designing museum websites, this time for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Robin Holland from the Stedelijk Museum and David Spreekmeester from Dutch digital agency GRRR shared the entertaining story behind the museums new website, a design that had to please multiple clients within the museum.

The day ended with Marleen Hartjes from Van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. She spoke about her work using technology to make the arts accessible to as many people as possible. This was an inspiring end to a brilliant day in Amsterdam.

MuseumNext Tech was made possible thanks in part to sponsorship from Microsoft, Wunder, Cloud Guide and Navimuseum.