Dimensions, March/April 2004—Visitor-Centered Spaces: How Physical Context Affects Experience

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March/April 2004

That physical surroundings have a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being is not a new insight. Nor is it innovative to apply that insight to the organization of museum spaces. In his 1987 Museum Visitor Evaluation: New Tool for Management, Ross J. Loomis counseled managers to pay close attention to wayfinding and develop “a master plan that anticipates human needs from the time visitors enter the museum until they leave.” But with so many science centers and museums currently embarking on major building programs, expansions and renovations, it seems appropriate to revisit the connection between physical context and the visitor experience.

Designed For, Not By: The Visitor-Centered Environment, by Jeanne Vergeront
• A Tool for Learning: Envisioning the New Science Museum of Minnesota, by Andrejs J. Cers
• Following the Flow, by Don Pohlman
• First Impressions: Thoughts on Entering the Museum, by Mikko Myllykoski
• Power to the People, by Rick Stroup
• Organizing Museum Space: Learning Stages as Physical Context, by John W. Jacobsen
• Access to Information: Wayfinding for All Visitors, by Ellen Rubin
• Evaluating Ping!, by Ellen Giusti

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