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What exactly is cultural mediation ?
What does cultural mediation mean?
Cultural mediation in the process of connecting individuals with other cultures in a seamless and informative manner.
We, as humans, have a wide range of connections to various cultures and societies, which are not always easy to identify and decipher within the wider context of our lives and the world.
The social environments that we have the opportunity to be exposed to propose intriguing and exciting possibilities, but these possibilities are not always easy to grasp and understand. That is where cultural mediation comes in. Cultural mediation is the process of helping individuals fully comprehend alternative cultures through involvement and participation.
Cultural mediation is integral in supporting people on their journey to understand other cultural norms and encourage cross cultural coherence. Different social environments create different boundaries and modes of knowledge. Cultural mediation works to bring together these concepts of cultural difference to enhance understanding and acceptance across boundaries.
What does a cultural mediator do?
Unsurprisingly, cultural mediators bring together ideas of culture and mediation in order to facilitate cultural development and cohesion. Ultimately, cultural mediators work as a source of knowledge as they convey information between two or more cultural sources with great ease and accuracy.
In addition to creating coherence between parties, individuals and cultures, they also facilitate dispute resolution in order to promote clarity and unity. They have a deep well of knowledge and are easily able to recall information in order to explain concepts of cultural norms and differences. Moreover, they are often proficient in different languages so they can ease comprehension between different parties, individuals and cultures.
Although cultural mediators can be real life individuals, in this 21st century setting, cultural mediation has also transferred into the digital world. Businesses and web interfaces have been developed in order to allow cultural mediation to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.
How does Vygotsky's theory explain cultural differences?
An individual who has been influential in the world of cultural understanding and difference is Vygotsky. He devised the Vygoatskian principle to explain the concepts behind cultural mediation.
The Vygotskyian principle emphasises the importance of tools and signs in developing our cognitive functions. According to his theory, the tools and signs that we encounter throughout society become internalized and inform the development of our everyday abilities, such as learning, problem solving and memory. This therefore means that society and culture are the mediators for our abilities.
Vygotsky focuses on the development of children's cognition in order to best demonstrate his theory. If you think about the process of how children learn, his theory becomes easier to grasp. It can be broken down as follows:
- Children begin with very little knowledge about the world around them.
- As they grow, they begin to form opinions, beliefs, critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- They acquire these skills by observing the world around them and asking questions.
- These observations and answers are internalized and eventually form a child’s understanding of the world around him, and enhances a plethora of their abilities.
Vygotsky’s theory highlights the importance of mediators in developing understanding in children, which can also be translated into the importance of understanding across cultures within adults. Although adults are fully competent in understanding their own cultural beliefs and systems, they are not so competent in others.
Therefore, a similar process is at work in cultural mediation amongst adults. Adults observe other cultures and internalize behaviours and modes of thinking that align with these differing cultures.
Art and cultural mediation
Cultural mediation’s interaction with art is an important one, as it allows for an exchange of meaning and significance within artwork, which makes it more accessible to a wider group of people. Art is an extremely creative medium, and cultural mediation allows this creativity to thrive as it promotes an exchange in knowledge and exploration of works of art.
Although a comprehensive understanding of the culture and context that surrounds a piece of work is not required to appreciate the content of the piece, it can help to enhance your experience of the art. Whether you have a particular interest in a specific piece of art, or a broader interest in the world of art, cultural mediation can help you understand as much as possible in order to get the most out of it.
Art and cultural mediation go hand in hand.
Why is cultural mediation important for museums?
As highlighted, an in-depth knowledge of art, including a well rounded and comprehensive breakdown of the cultural background of pieces is integral in order to compose an all encompassing understanding of the art.
That need for substantial background knowledge translates into a necessity for cultural mediation within museums in order to ensure visitors are provided with everything they need in order to enjoy their visit as much as possible.
Here are some key reasons to implement cultural mediation in your museum :
1. Helps you connect with visitors
Hiring cultural mediators will inevitably improve your connection to visitors as it creates a more personal experience for them as they make their way through the museum.
As much as museums are brilliant sources for individuals to feel cultured as they slowly build knowledge and understanding on a plethora of different things, the inherent set up of a museum can often prove to be dreary and in some cases overwhelming.
Since there is so much information available within a museum, it is easy to get lost in it all, which can sometimes counteract everything that you are meant to be enjoying. Integrating cultural mediators throughout the museum can help to mitigate this. If visitors find it difficult to concentrate, understand or fully appreciate what is in front of them, mediators can step in and offer to help.
2. Provides fast answers
Implementing cultural mediation technology or in person cultural mediators allows your visitors easy and instantaneous access to resources. The ability to quickly answer the questions of your visitors is integral in maintaining maximum engagement.
3. Opportunity to create unique experiences
Cultural mediation comes in many different forms. From digitally interactive information points, to cultural mediator led workshops, there are an endless number of ways to provide information.
Understanding your target market and specifying your methods of cultural mediation will help your museum maintain maximum interest from your guests. For example, if the museum caters to children, you could create a digital game that visitors participate in throughout their journey around the museum.
Each attraction has an accompanying digital feature that lets you learn more about the attraction and earn some points. If you have a more sophisticated target audience, maybe introduce some lectures throughout the day to provide even more background knowledge to your exhibit.
There are a multitude of ways that you can incorporate cultural mediation into your museum. Any way that you can develop and expand an individual's understanding of your exhibition is a form of cultural mediation, so feel free to be creative and ensure it caters to your visitors.
4. Makes it more accessible
The format of a traditional museum isn't necessarily accessible to all. However, by implementing cultural mediation practices you can ensure your museum is able to reach as many people as possible.
As mentioned, there are different forms of cultural mediation so you can provide access to your expertise and knowledge surrounding your museum and its exhibits in the digital sphere. This can then be utilized by those unable to physically visit your museum, whilst still providing them with a gateway to understanding more about the pieces they are interested in.
Best 10 Tourism & Travel trends of 2021
The covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the world in unimaginable ways. Lockdown measures have pushed us to rethink most of our habits. This means that many of the things that we used to enjoy freely are no longer within our reach. Traveling is no exception to this.
Before this pandemic, many great travel plans revolved around wandering through crowded cities, enjoying exotic architectures, having a delightful dinner at exhilarating restaurants, and visiting sensational museums.
With the cancellation of flights in the majority of countries, most 2020 travel plans were unfortunately halted. As such, in 2021, the tourism and travel industry has been looking for innovative measures and approaches that will allow the industry to adapt. This translates into improved safety measures, sustainable regenerative travel proposals, as well as new travel destinations.
While we won’t be able to travel as freely as we used to before, there are still numerous heavenly places to explore. Therefore, we will be talking about the most exciting 2021 tourism & travel trends.
Will traveling rebound in 2021?
While the covid-19 pandemic has affected many sectors and fields, the tourism and travel industry is one of the most affected industries. This is why governments and the travel industry have been looking for innovative ways to stimulate a travel rebound in 2021 and restore international travelling.
Towards the end of 2020, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection shared key findings from its 6th Annual State of Travel Insurance Survey of Travellers. Analysis of the results shows that Millennials and high-income travelers are the groups that are ready to return to travel, driving a strong rebound of traveling. This has made the travel industry rethink its tourism trends for 2021.
Moreover, almost all countries around the globe have already implemented massive vaccination campaigns. With that in mind, travel restrictions are expected to be lifted sooner than later. Therefore, a lot of people are already planning their next international trips.
While the International Air Transport Association projects that global traffic will not return to pre-Covid levels until 2024, shorter travel routes are already recovering faster than international ones. This means that even if tourism trends are not likely to resurface anytime soon, newer and more adapted travel trends should allow people to enjoy some of the breathtakingly beautiful travel destinations. As such, with new 2021 travel trends, a rebound in traveling is expected.
Additionally, data published by Delta Air Lines Inc. has indicated that visits to their website were up by 40% in Q4 compared to Q3 of 2020. Travel enthusiasts are yet to convert their visits to ticket purchases. However, such data suggest that there is a strong interest in traveling. A rebound in traveling is thus expected once travel restrictions are lifted and safety measures are implemented.
Travel restrictions in 2021
With the new British COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly through most European countries and even internationally, the European union and many other countries have imposed unified travel restrictions for 2021.
The key travel restrictions in 2021 are:
- Proof of negative covid-19 test: people willing to travel, especially internationally, are required to take a PCR test. The test should be taken no more than 3 days prior (72 hours) to your flight and a document of your test result should be presented to the airline before boarding the plane.
- Proof of recovery from covid-19: travelers who have already had the coronavirus and recovered need to present a document proving their recovery.
- If a traveler contracts the virus after having had a negative test result, they are required to quarantine for two weeks.
Additionally, countries have implemented various local regulations such as mask-wearing, curfews, and social distancing measures.
Please note: The information listed here is not exhaustive, as countries may change their travel restrictions and Covid-related regulations as the pandemic situation evolves. We advise you to stay informed and follow official governmental guidelines and regulations when planning your trip.
Top travel trends in 2021
Despite the consequences of the pandemic, the tourism sector is not completely lost. On the contrary, it’s reinventing itself to continue offering you a change of scenery. As traveling is set to rebound this year, new tourism trends are emerging.
Here are some of the top 2021 tourism & travel trends:
1. Regenerative travel
At a time when it has become extremely difficult to travel, everyone likes to imagine his/her future journey. Regenerative travel is a relatively new travel trend that aims to make tourism eco-friendly.
While sustainable tourism promotes more responsible, less harmful, and more sustainable practices for people and resources, regenerative travel aspires to take action to regenerate resources, heal Mother Nature and ensure a livable planet for future generations.
According to supporters of regenerative tourism, local decision-making is essential. New Zealand is one of the pioneering countries in regenerative tourism. This country tries to balance tourism with its natural resources and the well-being of its communities while taking into consideration all stakeholders, especially the Maori.
Tourism New Zealand, the country’s leading tourism organization, measures its success not only in economic terms but also in terms of the well-being of the country, taking into account the nature, health of its inhabitants, and community identities.As such, regenerative travel is imposing itself as one of the top 2021 travel trends.
2. Domestic travel
With continuous international travel restrictions due to the current pandemic, domestic travel is starting to look like a very decent alternative. While tourism trends in the past few years have focused on international travel, domestic travel is now one of the top 2021 travel trends.
Domestic travel offers passengers the safety and sustainability that has been lacking during this pandemic. It also allows cost savings and provides a familiarity that so many travel enthusiasts cherish.
It provides a chance to discover beautiful local places. Before the pandemic started, most travelers sought to discover tourist attractions abroad. This often meant that local destinations were neglected. With current travel restrictions, local destinations are presenting passengers with wonderful opportunities to discover local historic and cultural heritage.
3. Working remotely while traveling
With the current pandemic, remote working has become a dominant trend. What initially started as an adaptation to lockdown quickly became a much-appreciated working style. Remote working provides digital nomads with the professional flexibility they have always wanted.
No longer tied to a fixed work environment, many people are nowadays seeking to book extended hotel stays, so that they can combine the pleasure of traveling with working in a novel environment. As such, working remotely while traveling is establishing itself among the top 2021 travel trends.
4. Emerging wanderlust
In the midst of current travel restrictions, continuous lockdown, and travel hiatuses, the desire for traveling is only increasing. Canceled 2020 international travel plans mean that most if not all of us, are more than ever craving a trip to our favorite destinations.
Travelers are thinking of planning both domestic and international trips once travel restrictions are lifted and with the current vaccination progress, it looks like we are set for a massive travel bounce!
As such, we can expect the travel industry to come up with innovative tourism trends, specifically designed to capture the attention of travelers who missed last years’ trips.
MySmartJourney is an App that can be customized to share contextualized and interactive contactless information in any public site:
- It's easy to use and works on all devices.
- It works in real time and you can update content depending on the context as well as generate reports instantaneously.
It monitors indicators and data in real-time.
5. Travel safety
If there is one thing that this covid-19 pandemic has taught us is that we have to be more cautious than ever. Nowadays, safety is at the center of travelers’ concerns. Most passengers will not book a trip to a destination that is still plagued with the virus. This is why governments and the travel industry are working day and night to ensure travel safety.
This new wave of tourism trends is seeing travelers prioritize safety and health measures. Public transportation will be abandoned with more passengers choosing to drive their own car or rent one. However, quarantine measures are likely to stay unpopular among travelers. Governments will therefore be looking for alternative ways to ensure tourism safety.
6. Frugal traveling
Frugal traveling is certainly among the top 2021 travel trends. The current pandemic has had a negative effect on the financial situation of the majority of people. This means that travelers are more likely to think twice before booking their next trip. It also means that travelers will be expecting more value from their trips.
We are, thus, ushering in a new era of economical traveling. The travel industry will have to adapt by providing more attractive offers, namely more choices, higher value per cost as well as improved flexibility and transparency.
7. Tech at the foreground of 2021 travel trends
Nowadays we are living in an increasingly digitized world. Technology has helped reshape our lives and society in unimaginable ways. As tourism in 2021 is plagued with many hurdles and concerns, technology is set to play a major role in restoring the belief that safe and enjoyable tourism is still possible.
Technology is one of the major 2021 travel trends since it offers an array of innovative solutions. Travelers in 2021 are expecting to be able to book their hotel stay and airplane ticket with their smartphones. They are also expecting a more personalized traveling experience.
Besides, tech solutions are essential to Covid safety measures. One of the latest technological innovations of this pandemic era is mobile applications that guide users on which locations are safe and which are to avoid.
The 2020 lockdown has unquestionably affected our mental health. This has pushed the majority of us to look for ways to escape routine life. While most of us seek refuge in our smartphones and social media presence, planning for future trips is a major source of escapism for many of us.
The majority of travelers have spent large chunks of their lockdown time looking for potential travel destinations. With the power that social media has on influencing our daily lives and desires, the travel industry and hotels can capitalize on that by offering VR (virtual reality) simulations of the experiences that travelers can get.
Travelers will be more excited to discover destinations that they have had a virtual experience of. This will help restore tourism in a post-pandemic world.
9. Diversity as a key 2021 travel trend
Since most of us missed out on traveling in 2020, people from all around the globe are set for international travel once travel restrictions are lifted. It’s therefore expected that we will witness an increase in the number of multicultural tourists. Tourism agencies and locals shouldn’t be surprised with a spike in tourists from the Middle East, Africa, or Latin America, etc.
10. Visiting friends and family
While lockdown has separated us from our loved ones, an expected relaxation of travel restrictions is a great opportunity for us to reconnect with our friends and family living abroad. It’s also a chance to indulge in touristic destinations and visit iconic spots in different places around the world.
Why use microsites for your events?
What is a microsite?
A microsite is ultimately a site that exists outside of the primary website of a company. It serves as an extension to the original website, although it often has stand-alone features that differentiate it from the main website.
A microsite can function either as a website on its own or as a cluster of websites, and is often temporary. They are used as marketing tools as they are often centered around specific branded content.
Microsites come in different forms, such as blogs, infographics or interactive experiences. Their ultimate goal is to elevate the marketing campaign of a company product or event.
What is the purpose of a microsite?
The main purpose of a microsite is to add value to the marketing strategy. Creating a virtual area outside of the main company website helps boost the exposure of a specific brand or event campaign.
Microsites are a successful tactic in promotion and marketing as they allow creators to think outside of the box and leverage non-conventional strategies. A microsite is not restricted to the constraints of a primary website and therefore can afford to be more experimental with its content and set up.
In addition to demonstrating creative innovation, microsites benefit the greater good of a company, brand or event. Since they inhabit more web space, they have the ability to extend the boundaries of audiences that are reached.
Although its content, form and visuals are afforded more freedom, they still inherently link to the initial web page. A microsite adds a new exciting layer to an already established company website.
What is the difference between a microsite and a website?
As microsites require their own URL, individuals sometimes struggle to understand how they differ from websites. However, there are few technical differences between microsites and websites with the main difference being their purpose.
A website is the main hub for a company. It’s the primary virtual and online source for all the information about said company, brand or event. It must adhere to an unwritten set of rules in order to ensure it can successfully do its job. For example, a website has to be easily accessible since it’s the first port of call for customers to find information.
A microsite, on the other hand, is not the first port of call for your customers. These sites generally have a very specific purpose and so they don’t carry the same weight of information as a website does.
Nevertheless, microsites still have an important function to carry out as they help the brand/ company reach more people, or reach a specific target group. This targeted experience ensures microsites are able to convey personalized and specific information that may have gotten lost in translation in the wider landscape of a website.
What is an example of a microsite?
There are numerous examples of microsites available on the internet as they are used by different brands and companies. One of the most impressive microsites is one created by the fashion brand Chanel.
Chanel launched a microsite in 2012 that provided a great case study to look at how a microsite works. Chanel’s microsite was titled Inside Chanel and featured stories about the history and making of the brand.
The microsite was a fun and interactive way for fans to learn more about the brand, whilst simultaneously allowing the brand to entice more people in by piquing an interest in the company itself.
As all the technical information such as product information, contact details and delivery policy was included on the main website, Chanel had the freedom to create a unique experience on their microsite. Inside Chanel offered individuals a more intimate look into the inner workings of the brand.
Top benefits of microsites for your events
Now that you know what a microsite is, it’s time to explore its many benefits. Using this strategy to create specific event microsites is a smart marketing move. Event microsites provide an array of benefits ranging from event branding, to event management and event planning.
Here are some of the key benefits of using microsites for your events:
1. Event branding
Events are a specific area of business that benefit greatly from microsites. As they are not restricted to the overall branding and marketing techniques used by the company as a whole, event microsites can curate very specific and unique event brands.
They help build hype and recognition for events as they are established both from within and outside the brand/company. Event microsites can contribute greatly to the marketing strategies employed. Companies should embrace the opportunities that microsites present as they provide them with the freedom to temporarily rebrand and ensure they cater to a specific target or segment.
2. Easy to set up
Creating a microsite is extremely easy as it doesn’t require the same level of information, alternative landing pages and specified aesthetics that a website does.
The great thing about microsites is that they are super easy to create. Events are usually one-time occurrences so the short lifespan microsites makes them a great marketing tactic. A microsite can quickly be made to market a single event and then removed once the event is over.
Moreover, if the events are annually occurring, the microsite can go live when it needs to and be constantly updated with new, event specific branding and information allowing to keep the core identity of the event whilst also easily changing what you need to.
3.Search engine optimization
Although creating microsites for the sole purpose of enhancing your SEO is an unsuccessful tactic, if you’re already creating a microsite because it complements your website, you should definitely use this opportunity to enhance your search engine optimization.
Using keywords and including backlinks will help drive traffic to your main website. If your microsite is focused and professional, including SEO tactics will inevitably improve your ranking in the search results.
4. Targeted content
When creating a microsite, there’s usually a target audience in mind. Although the brand/company might have a wider ranging target audience, microsites allow it to focus on subgroups for specific events.
Leveraging an event microsite allows you to branch away from the more generalized content in order to curate more targeted content. This allows you to create a personalized user experience.
The cost of setting up a microsite is one of the most appealing benefits. It requires little investment and the revenue that it brings in is worth the initial investment. Moreover, the kinds of data tracking software that can be virtually installed on microsites allows the marketing team to monitor event registration and interest.
At the end of the day, microsites are there for you to use how you wish. They are an opportunity to provide customers with a unique experience that they would not be able to get on your main website. Make sure you seize this opportunity to create a tailor-made site that will appeal to your target market.
8 trends that are transforming museums
Nobody would have thought that a so-called ‘epidemic’ in Wuhan, China, would take over the world and quickly acquire the shape of a pandemic. With all the global activities being affected by the Covid-19, everybody had to morph themselves and their lifestyle to ensure that the virus didn’t expand any more.
The world of museums was also affected by the pandemic and ended up losing a lot of business because the entire essence of the museum experience revolves around on-site visits, which were prohibited due to enforced security measures.
Despite this downfall, museums continue to act as a holy place for art, architecture and history. They exhibit the creativity that artists bring to their canvas. They celebrate the victorious successes that were achieved in the past and reminisce about the influential and most devastating episodes in history. Museums have the power to impact the mindset of its visitors and alter their views.
Covid-19 might have dented the concept of museums but definitely not the spirit it holds in its core. In this article, we discuss the top 10 museum trends that are transforming museums and their relationship with its visitors.
1. Multisensory experience: the future of museums
As the world of technology is evolving at such a rapid rate, it gets hard to keep up and people are always looking for the next best thing to stimulate their senses. Multisensory experiences are a great way to achieve this as they tap into more than one of your senses.
Augmented reality (AR) is likely to completely change the field of museums and how the world sees them. It’s expected that starting from 2020, museums will be keener on pursuing this method of multi-experience to attract visitors.
2. Museums trends shaped by the VR culture
Virtual reality (VR) completely changes how we look at things. It feels like being in a specific place while not really being there. Virtual reality technology is something that museums have started to explore and it is likely to affect the way museums operate.
Imagine seeing a painting and being able to virtually step into its majestic world or learning about the history of your country from the comfort of your own home. With the use of virtual reality, all of this is possible. Museums could use this technology in different creative ways, as the applications are endless!
3. Museum technology: Voice command
Voice commands will allow customers and museum staff to facilitate their daily tasks. It will be easy for a visitor who has an interest in a particular topic to find all the data related to it just by expressing it. It is also a great way for museums to collect data and information.
4. Museum attendance
Another significant trend that has recently made an appearance on the museum scene is museum attendance. This trend deals with advertising how safety precautions for the covid-19 are part of the new museum experience and how the flow of visitors is limited. It allows customers to go to the museum and enjoy their visit rather than worry about their safety.
5. Know what your customer wants
This is probably one of the most followed trends currently in the museum industry. It has opened new opportunities for museums to reshape their identity. Museums have often been regarded as monotonous or traditional in their approach, but that is changing. Now, proper research is conducted on what a specific group of people expects when they come to a museum to create more impactful experiences.
6. Museum apps
In 2021, you can forget about traditional audiobooks. Museum apps are taking the center stage by digitizing the museum experience. Apart from being safer as customers can use their own mobile devices, museum apps can be customized and include a lot of useful information, interactive maps, etc.
Much like with retail shops, museums have to provide added value to customers and museum apps are another great way to do that. These applications give insight into the details of the exposition or museum before a visit. They can also include links and data that are relevant to different pieces of art or artists.
7. Creating a smooth experience
Museums can create a smoother experience by making sure clients don’t have to wait in line, buy tickets in-person, etc. All this can be avoided with the use of digital technology. Everything you imagine going wrong, digital optimization can solve. Simple changes like these can make a big difference in customer satisfaction!
8. Take into account every detail
This last trend is more likely to be applied to customers that come to the museum for its conventional and traditional essence. They normally come to the museum and hope to find what they are looking for, which is usually data and information on a topic or piece of art that piques their interest. The museum must have sufficient data and statistics that are well researched in order to meet the expectations of all visitors.
Ready to digitize your museum experience?
Our technology collects information that is essential for your museum. It offers you tailored information at the right place and at the right time for the right people!
MySmartJourney is an App that can be customized to share contextualized, contactless and interactive information on any public site:
- It's easy to use and works on all devices.
- It works in real time, updating content depending on the context and generating reports instantaneously.
- It monitors indicators and data that matters at any time.
Some of the trends we have mentioned concern the Covid-19 pandemic, while others are just applicable in general. In both cases, it’s pretty evident how these trends have the potential and power to fully boost the museum industry and make it a more thriving and entertaining one.
How to implement cultural mediation in museums
What is museum mediation?
Museum mediation is a form of cultural mediation that is specifically tailored to the needs and demands of museums.
In order to understand the intersection of cultural mediation and museum mediation, you first need to understand the nuances of cultural mediation. Cultural mediation is the forging of connections between people and cultures in a seamless and informative manner.
It’s a phenomenon that aims to provide individuals with access to an understanding of cultures alternative to their own. As a species, the human race has the opportunity of being exposed to a plethora of different cultures and ways of being. Cultural mediation aims to bring different cultures together in an innovative way.
Museum mediation takes the basic ideas of cultural mediation and applies it to the settings of museum exhibitions and other similar cultural institutions. This specific form of mediation attempts to disrupt the hierarchies often associated with art and museums in order to make exhibitions more accessible to more people.
By providing interactive and participatory concepts and activities alongside the works of art and exhibitions, museums offer individuals a way to better understand the cultural background of different pieces of art.
Mediation tools are quickly becoming a common practice throughout museums as they provide innovative ways for the public to access art and other cultures. Ultimately, museum mediation offers individuals a deeper understanding of alternate cultures through art.
What are the different forms of cultural mediators?
A museum’s cultural mediation can be implemented in a few different ways, depending on what best fits your exhibits and target market. For example, the types of mediators you would need to use for children differ greatly from the mediators you would use for adults.
In person cultural mediator
An in-person mediator is one of the most traditional forms of cultural mediation within museums. These are people who are stationed throughout the museum who are available to help visitors bridge the gap between the art they are seeing and the cultural significance behind it.
They have knowledge about the exhibit and are often experts in the field who have studied and researched the subject matter and its background extensively. Integrating in person cultural mediators throughout a museum provides visitors with the opportunity to further develop their own knowledge and research on particular works of art.
Digital cultural mediators
Although in person cultural mediators have been the norm in museums for a long time, the technological climate of the 21st century has also facilitated the introduction of digital cultural mediators. Digital mediators provide visitors with the same knowledge but it’s conveyed in a different manner.
Digital cultural mediators are popular as they are extremely versatile. Not only are they easy to use, they are also adaptable and extremely accessible. All the cultural knowledge, background research and depth of information can be made available at the tip of your fingers, which makes it a popular option for museums in the 21st century.
Why is cultural mediation important in museums?
In today’s fast paced and technologically driven world, it’s difficult to get people to engage with things for a long period of time. People need instant answers or constant engagement in order to commit to something. Thankfully, cultural mediation can step in and help museums interact with their visitors!
Here are the top three reasons why cultural mediation is important in museums:
Cultural mediation helps individuals expand their cultural knowledge. It can be easy for people to walk through an exhibition and leave without having learned anything new or taken any of the cultural significance of the art exhibit in.
Cultural mediation tools within museums encourage visitors to learn autonomously through participatory activities. Cultural mediation helps individuals access autonomy of thought, which allows them to develop a deeper cultural understanding.
Keep up to date
Museum mediation is by definition an extremely flexible tool, which allows museums to continuously create discussions centered around current topics and debates, ensuring exhibits stay relevant.
It can be easy for museums to be viewed as a simple gateway to the past. However, by introducing different forms of mediation, mediators can present individuals with an alternate way of thinking about the art in front of them and bridge the gap between historic cultural context and modern day interpretations.
In addition to the broader effect that museum mediation can have on people's understanding of the world and different cultures, it’s also a useful tool within the museum itself. Introducing mediation into museums allows curators to tailor exhibits to appeal to specific target audiences.
As mediation can come in different forms, it’s possible to target exhibits to certain groups of people through museum mediation. You can do this by adapting your mediation tools and customizing the experience based on your target audience’s learning style and interests.
For example, interactive educational games are an appropriate form of cultural mediation for children, whereas a more formal setting or workshop is an appropriate form of mediation for adults and older individuals. By analyzing your target audience and adapting your mediation tools, you are more likely to boost attendance at your exhibitions.
Unfortunately, the traditional setup of exhibition spaces is inaccessible to many. Museum mediation can provide a solution to this problem.
The beauty of mediation is that it’s not confined to a single space or format, it’s completely adaptable. In recent years we have seen museum mediation leverage the digital sphere to make exhibits available internationally. More locally, museums have sent mediators into rural and city areas to bring exhibits to life outside of the museum.
There is an array of different ways that museums can use mediators to insert their exhibit into the lives of the wider public. Museum exhibitions can have a much wider reach and encourage far more participation and interest into cultural spheres.
How to implement museum mediation?
Implementing cultural mediation into your museum is an exciting prospect, and there are companies who can help you along the way.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Invest in apps
An initial investment into something as simple as an app can help you break down the digital barriers that you may be facing. Curators and museum owners often have an aversion to integrating digital aspects to their exhibits due to the traditional nature of museums. However, the benefits that technology can afford your museum is worth the jump.
Implementing digital mediators is an extremely simple process, as companies who provide such services ensure their apps are user-friendly and easy to set up. Such apps provide you with the tools needed to digitize content, allowing you to provide a more interactive experience to your visitors.
The best companies offer options that collate usage data and provide you with reports and feedback to allow you to improve aspects of your museum and overall experience.
Experience in schools
In addition to implementing mediation physically in your museum, you can also branch out and create extensions of your museum experience in schools. The school environment is the perfect place to integrate cultural mediation as it’s always a priority for schools to facilitate learning.
Museum mediation that is implemented in schools brings your exhibition to life outside of the exhibition space. It introduces cultural and social information into schools in a fun, informative and interactive way. Simply hiring mediators to go into schools can have the desired effect of making your exhibit accessible and interesting to a younger audience.
Although school children and students benefit from high energy and interactive forms of cultural mediation, you must also be aware that this is not how everyone learns. Alternate forms of museum mediation should therefore be considered, such as lectures and workshops, that would suit a more mature audience.
Running lectures alongside your exhibit can give people the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge about the cultural surroundings of the art pieces within your museum. It’s a less personal and more generic setting, which is often preferred by people who may be anxious to approach mediators one-on-one.
Moreover, running workshops is an alternative form of museum mediation that gives individuals the chance to further expand their cultural knowledge. They are more interactive than lectures and still give people the opportunity to have one on one discussions with knowledgeable mediators if they wish.
Cultural mediation goes hand in hand with the information that museums are trying to convey. The context and background knowledge provide individuals with a more in depth and coherent understanding of works of art and other exhibition pieces.
Cultural mediation allows museum exhibits to be accessible to more people. As cultural mediation can be directly injected into communities and public spaces, museums are able to widen their reach and encourage individuals to cross-cultural boundaries