University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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The Invisible Museum
Suzanne-Marie Psaila

Last modified: 2011-12-21


Much care is put into the design of museum exhibits and a substantial amount of funding is frequently dedicated to completing museums with state-of-the-art technology, all this to enhance the visitors’ experience. This paper aims to bridge the distance between museums and visually-impaired individuals through modern technologies and the new forms of interaction they can create. The case study involves the Tarxien Temples of Malta façade model which was found in two separate pieces and are presently connected as one model through a sheet of Perspex. This research investigates the model’s fragments to propose a virtual reconstruction that seems most faithful to the model’s original shape. For the first time in the National Museum of Archaeology in Malta, this model is Rapid Prototyped and placed beside the original exhibit in the museum for all visitors to feel and handle. This enhances the experience a visitor gets from the museum, contrary to when observing objects behind a glass, but it mainly offers the visually-impaired the possibility to visit a museum and experience the heritage through their sense of touch. It promotes accessibility of heritage areas even when these are “invisible”.

(I, the Recycler, would like to be considered for the CAA Recycle Award. The originators are Heritage Malta.)


3D; old images; data recycling; models, visually-impaired, museums, visualisation, Rapid Prototyping; reconstruction; heritage accessibility