Every Object has a Story to Tell
Salve! Do you want to explore with us the Antiquities Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna? YES! Then jump on board of our time machine and off we go! Together with Aphrodite and the Young Man of Magdalensberg we will find out the stories of objects within the antiquities collection.Christina Kral-Börner
What is the aim of “Antique Short Stories”? Originally based on a paper guide “Durch die Antikensammlung mit Aphrodite und dem Jüngling von Magdalensberg” this run is intended as an interactive guide around the collection that aims to encourage users to be curious and get interactive with the museum objects. In each room an object or object group was chosen under a certain theme, such as sports or daily life.
The work process: At the beginning stood the question: “Is it possible to adapt a paper guide with activities into an app with interactive tasks?” Indeed, it worked very well! The main linear structure in essence stayed the same: each room was represented within the app as one scene with a certain theme. A scene includes one or more stations that are build up: an arrival (either introductory words or hints on the object), an interactive mission (question, statement, photo etc.), and lastly, additional information on the object itself or the topic. Some of the ‘paper activities’ like drawing or colouring could not be fully imagined digitally, however, a new feature was introduced which is not possible in an analogue medium: taking photos. This provided users with their own visual map of their explorations. We took into account that the historical rooms of the Antiquities Collection are not arranged in a strictly chronological order. The thumbnails of Aphrodite for the Greek, and the Young Man of Magdalensberg for the Roman, therefore acted as guiding figures for each station. The app itself is modular which mean it is very easy to enhance scenes or even create new ones. The target group is also very broad, ranging from school children to adults, catering for whoever is interested in exploring the Antiquities Collection in a different, playful way.