Welcome to MIST


Museums are the repositories of our cultural heritage. They have the often contradictory roles of protecting our heritage and providing access to it. The MIST network will explore these two roles by discussing what kind of places museums are, what they could be and how new thinking on space and technology could transform the kind of access they can provide.

The purpose of this project is to understand museum spaces and interactions and how technology can make them more interesting and engaging. MIST is concerned with ways of preserving, accessing, and increasing engagement with this heritage.

Technology: Interfaces and Evaluation


Interactive multimedia technologies have enormous capacity to enhance the way cultural heritage is accessed and disseminated, though there are in practice barriers to making this work. In MIST we will explore both the opportunities and the bars. MIST addresses the requirements of museums and off-site visitors through broadband. Among topics we expect to cover:



It is difficult to dissociate the works of art from the space of the museum. For example, museums with strong axis structure, such as in Victorian museums, suggest that knowledge is linear and fixed, denying multiple interpretations, something that later museums have challenged. Indeed the pendulum has swung away from transparent systems of organization towards the museum as memory-theatre, site of wonder, or chance encounter—as an assemblage of stories and found objects of stories and disconnected objects. The modern museum experience aims to recover the subjective curiosity and surprise for which the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ provides a metaphor. Contemporary digital research tracks the individual’s chance encounter with objects as an aspect of cultural experience. Experiments with museum behaviour identify new forms of public assembly (Latour, Making Things Public, 2002).