No name
No country
No term
No term
No language
No academic level
No academic fields

Augmenting the Gallery: Augmented Reality in Exhibition Spaces


  • Pierre Depaz
  • Anton Filatov


Wall labels, audio guides, and informative maps are just some of the ways by which galleries and museums convey information and hidden narratives about a collection. Given the changing role of museums and galleries in the 21st century, how can we utilize new tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) to design and deliver immersive experiences that breathe new life into an exhibit? How can such tools do so without distracting from the power and importance of a collection, or by purposefully challenging problematic aspects such as an exhibit's disputed provenance or ethical concerns? And how can these tools make collections more accessible to a wider audience? This course mobilizes resources from museography, art history, sociology, interaction design and 3D, real-time development to answer these questions. Topics covered include exhibition installation and curation, mixed reality production in Unity, and mobile development for Augmented Reality. The course is open to students from a variety of academic backgrounds interested in gaining hands-on experience in applying new technologies to exhibition spaces.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the theoretical concepts and practical challenges of curating and exhibiting artworks in 21st century museum and gallery spaces.
  • Understand the development workflow in the Unity game engine for AR applications.
  • Apply best-practices in user-interface design and information delivery on mobile platforms.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of augmenting technologies within cultural spaces.
  • Create relevant mobile digital content within a given exhibition through prototyping, iteration and integration.
  • By studying use cases with museums and galleries in Berlin, students gain insights into how museum professional work and the innovations they are considering. Students become aware of skills and experiences they can offer to potential future employers in the museum and gallery world.

Topic Outlines

  • No topic outlines.


  • The Ultimate Display, Ivan Sutherland, Information Processing Techniques Office
  • A Survey of Augmented Reality, R. T. Azuma, Presence, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 1–18, Jul. 1997.
  • Key Concepts of Museology, ICOM
  • A Cultural Approach to Interaction Design, Janet Murray, 2016.
  • Key Concepts of Museology, ed. André Desvallées and François Mairesse, Armand Colin, 2010, articles Collection pp. 26-28, Exhibition pp. 34-38, Mediation pp. 46-48, Museum pp.56-60, Object pp.61-64.
  • Artefacts and the Meaning of Things, Daniel Miller, Routledge, 1994, pp. 96-147
  • In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life, bell hooks
  • Doing Cultural Studies, Stuart Hall and Paul Du Gay
  • The Museum: A Refuge for Utopian Thought, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, in Die Unruhe der Kultur: Potentiale des Utopischen, eds. Jörn Rusen, Michael Fehr, Annelie Ramsbrock, Velbruck Wissenschaft, 2004.
  • The End of the Museum?, Nelson Goodman, Journal of Aesthetic Education, University of Illinois Press, 1985.
  • Museum4Punkt0, Katrin Glinka, in ICOM, vol 70, 2018.
  • Distinction, Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: Social Critique of Judgment of Taste, Introduction, MIT Press, 1984.
  • The Ignorant Art Museum: Beyond Meaning Making, Emilie Sitzia, in Journal of Lifelong Education, 2018, pp. 73-87.
  • Objects, Intent, and Authenticity: Producing, Selling, and Conserving Media Art, Caitlin Jones, in New Collecting: Exhibiting and Audiences after New Media Art, Routledge, 2016.
  • Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, Adam Greenfield, Verso, 2017.

Grading Rubric

No grading rubric.


  • Augmented Exercises - 30%. You will complete three short technical projects in order to develop familiarity with the Unity engine and AR workflow. Each assignment builds on the previous one, ensuring that students master each skill at each level. Students are expected to present their projects at each step in class for a group review.
  • Participation - 30%. Participation includes (a) in-class discussion of readings and of your classmates’ project presentations, (b) completion of all homework assignments, (c) posting your weekly reading responses online, and (d) contributing to the class resources — whether by finding current exhibitions and cultural events, or innovative AR projects not mentioned during class, and sharing them with your instructor and classmates.
  • Final project - 40%. Due end of semester - You will design a digital project proposal for a large-scale institution’s collection, by applying your knowledge of both applied application design and broad affordances of augmentation as seen in class. This group project will include (a) a pre-emptive analysis of the site and collection that you will be working with (background research on the gallery/museum and the artist(s) exhibited, analysis of the curatorial intent, the practical installation and description of the audience), (b) an interactive wireframe and a unity prototype development of the AR, and (c) a presentation to museum professionals at the end of the semester.


No other.

Course Resources

Uploaded by Pierre Depaz on 2023-07-03