The Bartlett School of Architecture


Dingyi Wei

Image: Dingyi Wei



Examining the Learning Effectiveness with Interactive Installations in Museums

First and second supervisors


Educational institutes, such as science museums, are deploying increasingly more interactive installations to enhance the visiting experience and deliver knowledge, awareness and skills. However, given the fact that museum visitors come from different backgrounds and with different expectations, and people learn in different ways, there is no "one-for-all" installation that has the same learning effectiveness for everybody. As a matter of fact, many visitors of museums have been witnessed not to engage as instructed or absorb the knowledge. 

By combining current research in museum studies and human-computer interaction, and carrying out case studies in the Science Museum and the Living Planet Center, this research examines the learning effectiveness of visitors engaging with interactive installations. The case studies include on-site observations and interviewing both the designers/curators and visitors, so that the behaviours and emotions of the visitors can be compared with the creators' intentions. By doing so, it will answer the questions such as how visitor behaviours and emotions affect the learning effectiveness, and how to collect the overall learning effectiveness of the group with one installation. On the one hand, this research provides understanding towards ‘in-the-wild’ users in the area of human-computer interaction. On the other, it will provide references for designers, curators, and other stakeholders of museums to deploy the interactive installations with more criticality. Although it is almost impossible to have one installation that suits everybody, a certain level of average learning effectiveness and a balance between entertaining and learning can be reached.


Dingyi studied architecture for her Bachelor's degree at Shandong University in mainland China. She then joined the Design for Performance and Interaction MArch at the The Bartlett School of Architecture and focused on experience curation in VR environments. She is currently a PhD student in Architectural Space and Computation, and her research looks at the interactive installations in educational institutes such as museums.

Dingyi is interested in the combination of digital technologies and art/science curation. Her background in architecture and programming skills informs her work on the application of interactive and site-specific installations. 


  • Wei, D., Fatah gen. Schieck, A., and Marquardt, N. (2020). A Model of the Deviation between the Intended and the Actual Experiences with Interactive Installations. In: PerDis'20. New York: ACM, 99: 1-3.
  • Wei, D. and Fatah gen. Schieck, A. (2020). Exploring Interaction with Installations: Intended Experience vs Actual Experience. In: Design Computation Input/Output 2020. pp.194-195.

Image: Dingyi Wei