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Designing with Teens

ArtPad is an online of presentation of Glenbow Museum's contemporary arts collections, geared towards young people. The idea was to get teens to explore more about the context, content and the artist of a piece of art - but delivered in a less curatorial and formal manner. 

Early evaluation of ArtPad challenged some assumptions of the project - which meant a change in the delivery of the information. The teens weren't interested in some of the project coordinators' ideas, for instance they thought a podcast of an artist was a boring concept - stating that they would never bother to download it to their iPod!

The Danish national Gallery, Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) targeted a teenage audience through the creation of their u.l.k website (Danish abbreviation for Young Peoples' Laboratory of Art). 

With a starting point of 90 teens (which were hired) they created an online art community for teens aged 12-20, making sure that this was an experiment for both parties involved. The website now has 500 active users that can discuss art in a safe (and Danish!) forum.

And finally the guys at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis worked closely with their teen program to redesign their 'WACTAC' website. They researched into the most popular teen activities online, and created a site that combined both institution and teen driven content effectively - through using a 'draggable' vertical screen to swap between both types of information.

As with the Milano Romana Tecnologica project (see last blog) the emphasis here was on the process. Including the teens from an early stage made this a learning experience, and the Walker saw this as more of an educational program than a marketing exercise.

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