Museology Master of Arts Program

June 12, 2015

Audio elements: Understanding current uses of sound in museum exhibits

Thesis by Jeremy Beliveau (2015)

Sound is increasingly used as an interpretive tool in a variety of museum exhibits, but currently accepted practices are not well understood by professionals across the field. This study surveyed eight exhibit design professionals across four museums in the Pacific Northwest, to describe the motivations and factors that influence their use of sound. This study targeted museums well known for using sound in exhibits to convey information or meaning. Results show that exhibit designers are either experience-motivated or content- motivated when they use sound. Participants were aware of the challenges posed by using sound, and many have worked to devise specific strategies and methods to solve problems that arise. More research is required to determine how or why particular methods of using sound in museum exhibits are effective or how specifically sound affects the visitor experience.

Keywords: sound, audio, exhibitions, exhibit design, research, education

Citation:

Beliveau, J. (2015). Audio elements: Understanding current uses of sound in museum exhibits (Order No. 1599755). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Washington WCLP; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1730399203).