Why should I use this technique?
An exhibit is more likely to be effective if a variety of exhibit techniques address of range of visitor learning styles. Smelling the pine tar in the ship’s rigging or the salted cod carried in barrels creates a more vivid experience than simply reading about life at sea.
In All Hands on Deck, when visitors climb in a hammock or get on their knees and scrub the deck, it is a full body experience. These are the activities eliciting the most comments in exit interviews, and most frequently recalled, even years after a visit.
The Chicago History Museum took this to the extreme when they created an exhibit for kids called Sensing Chicago. Based on extensive front-end and formative evaluation with children, the exhibit uses the senses as a window to history — smell the fire of 1871, hear the roar of the crowd at a baseball game, or climb into a giant foam roll and see what it feels like to be a famed Chicago hot dog with all the trimmings!
Steal This Idea Because:
- Smell is a very powerful memory tool
- Utilizing the sense of touch is an opportunity for discovery
- Full body kinesthetic experiences actively engage visitors
- The more senses are involved in an exhibit experience, the more likely visitors will create a lasting memory