Museum Amsterdam proposes to think outside the boundaries of the physical museum, and considers the whole city to be part of it.
To achieve the connection between the curated collection in the museum and the places and building in the city, we combine a number of existing idea's and technologies.
Amsterdam as a museum
Amsterdam has plenty of historically and culturally interesting places. The city is very suitable for exploration on foot, however, for everyone the requirements in relation to time and interests are different. Therefor, a fixed route will most likely not do very well.
At several places in the Netherlands, at network of numbered locations has been introduced. Some aimed at bikers, some at hikers. These points are well known and available on printed and digital maps. With these you can easily plan a custom route with the duration/length of choice.
A similar network of numbered locations in Amsterdam would open up a whole new range of possibilities. Given a number of pre-selected places someone wants to see, it becomes easy to plot a nice route through Amsterdam that brings you to these places, and a number of other sites in the process. Additionally, when locations are tagged with one or more categories of interest, automated tools in the form of a website or Routing App can plot the route for you based on your interest of that day.
This way people will be able to see what they like, and be surpised by sites where they would not have come otherwise.
From the city to the museum
When people are at a location, it should be easy to get information about that place. There are several means for this:
- If you are connected to the internet, you can get information - again grouped by category - with reference to the number of the site. A well recognisable barcode can be added to the location make it easy to go to the right website with a smartphone.
- For foreign tourist, providing a paper guide with stories per number is another option.
- A third option is to integrated tourist information in the so called Amsterdammertjes one finds everywhere in the streets. Through the press of a button on the Amsterdammertje a recorded messages regarding the location can be heard.
Regardless of the method, the information provided is very suitable to be enhanced with links to the collection and exhibition in the museum so poeple that to know more about some place know where to go and what to look for.
From the museum to the city
Within the museum references are present to events, buildings and locations related to Amsterdam. When people learn about a event or place in the museum, they might be interested to actually go there at a later time. Also here the numbered places may be of assistance. There can both printed numbers next to parts of the exhibition, and barcodes readable by mobile devices for easy integration in the Routing App. This way history will come to life.
The social aspect
The real interesting stories are those of that actually have been living in the city for years. Next to the curated information given about a location, the website/app may offer a platform for the locals to write their stories. This way Museum Amsterdam become a place for and by the locals.
To extend the cohesion between people, the Amsterdammertjes may also provide an 'random intercom' function: if you press the (unmarked) intercom button you will be connected to some other Amsterdammertje and an open connection is created between them.
An important aspect of this plan is the marking of locations. The earlier mentioned Amsterdammertje will be prototyped to function both as a source of tourist information, and as a way to provide the (number based) directions.
The Amsterdammertjes will have a ground-plate with arrows refering to other numbers in the vicinity, with the distance to walk in minutes. Together with the number on the head this provided the low-tech routing assistance.
Additionally, at interesting locations, the Amsterdammertje will have a robust button on top which can be pressed to hear a recorded story about the place.
To draw attention to objects of interest, and to draw other people attention to the Amsterdammertje, a lighted arrow will be integrated in the street at a distance of between 10 and 50 meters from the amsterdammertje. It lights up when the button is pushed for the recorded tourist information.
The here metioned functionality has been demonstrated to function in the prototype.