Whether a museum is capable of conveying a topic successfully also depends on how the visitors feel in the museum rooms. An important but to date less researched influencing factor is thereby the museum’s acoustics.
Prof. Martin Fromm (Chair of Pedagogy) and Prof. Philip Leistner (Chair of Building Physics) from the University of Stuttgart are now investigating these connections in cooperation with Stuttgart Linden-Museum. An exhibition of African masks was set up in a room laboratory on the Vaihingen Campus especially for the experimental part of the study.
The interdisciplinary research project is one of the winners of the competition “Mind meets Machine“ at the University of Stuttgart, in which teams were able to participate, each comprising engineering scientists and natural scientists as well as humanities scholars and social scientists.
In recent decades museums have undergone a significant expansion of their task scope. Communication and presentations have been added to the traditional tasks of collection, conservation and research. Today many of the approximately 7,000 museums in Germany are understood to be educational institutes and places of learning intended to convey to the broad public culturally significant contents. How successful they are with their work is, however, largely unknown in spite of a century of visitor research. This particularly applies if it concerns internal processes, such as perceptions and learning processes and how these are influenced through the design of exhibitions. For example, it is unknown what effect certain room conditions have. Along with room temperature and air quality, it is the acoustics in particular that have an impact on the feeling of wellbeing as well as concentration and learning processes. These effects are known in offices or classrooms. Observations and surveys conducted among visitors give us reason to believe there are also similar connections in museums. In many rooms contemplation and communication collide so that visitors entertain themselves at best by whispering and children are reminded to be quiet. In this way museums are frequently experienced as sterile, even oppressive places.
Yet what kind of acoustic atmosphere can visitors expect? How do they assess the largely tranquil atmosphere compared to typical everyday noises or sound installations in exhibition exhibits? In order to research these questions the scientists exposed the visitors to the room laboratory with various acoustic scenarios – from traffic noises up to rhythmic drums. Ultimately they ascertained the assessment of around 60 trial persons aged between 18 and 65 years of age and then analysed these results.Avoiding constant acoustic irradiation
The project has a pilot character for the scientists. A difference is indeed to be made between the laboratory investigations and the real situation in a museum, for example in view of the length of stay and motivation of the visitors. However, the findings offer substantiated connection points in order to contribute towards the acoustically and didactically appealing museum design with further studies in the laboratory and on site. The Stuttgart Linden-Museum is extremely interested in the research results, emphasised its Director Prof. Inés De Castro: “We would also like to address the exhibition visitors on a sensual level. The auditory experience thereby plays an important role. Exhibition design and acoustic atmosphere embed the objects in a new context and ease access to the portrayed contents.“
Further information:Prof. Dr. phil. Martin Fromm, University of Stuttgart, Chair for Pedagogy, Tel. 0711/685-87440
Email: martin.fromm (at) iep.uni-stuttgart.deProf. Dr.-Ing. Philip Leistner, University of Stuttgart, Chair for Building Physics, Tel. 0711/970 3346,
Email: philip.leistner (at) lbp.uni-stuttgart.de
Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw
A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues
16.08.2017 | University of Oxford
Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy