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Cornwall Museums Partnership

Opening DOORS across Europe

I’ve been lucky enough to take part, on behalf of St Ives Museum, in Ars Electronica’s DOORS Museum Incubator program. The programme was developed to give intensive training and assistance to small museums based on innovative projects that they pitched in the application stage. 

The DOORS Logo

The incubator stage consisted of workshops, presentations, demonstrations and breakout sessions from a wide range of leading museum professionals from around the world. These included inspiring talks from Seb Chan (Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image) and Ross Parry (Professor of Museum Technology, University of Leicester).  

An in-depth area of study was the CALM approach to museum transformation- collaborative practices; anticipatory project management; collective decision-making; and mindful periods of deep work. These sessions were insightfully delivered by Dr Sophie Frost (Sophie Frost) and Dr Lauren Vargas (Dr Lauren Vargas (@vargasl) / Twitter) who mixed real world examples with workshop practice sessions that really engaged us. 

An example Miro board from a workshop

An example Miro board from a workshop

Each session focused on a particular strand of digital project development- from defining the audience to graduating our work to prototype level. Every time I found myself enthused and excited about our own project. Thanks to this work, it’s now more refined and has a better understanding of the core audience needs. I’m looking forward to taking this further over the Summer ahead of an application to the second stage, when hopefully we can actually put this into practice. You can find more information about our READ project here. 

However, despite all the amazing speakers and sector professionals involved, my favourite part of the experience was meeting fellow museum peers from across Europe. It was wonderful and reassuring to know that whether you are in an art gallery in Jerusalem, a museum in Finland or a library in Slovakia, so many of our challenges and successes are the same. Over our zoom chats we bonded and we found there was much more uniting us than the geography dividing us. 

I’m really looking forward to applying for stage 2 and am grateful to the team at Ars Electronica who worked tirelessly in the background to put on a fantastic experience for us all. 

Phil Jones- Innovation Manager

St Ives Museum and Cornwall Museums Partnership is part of the DOORS – Digital Incubator of Museums network. DOORS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101036071.

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