Project Lead/ Research Group Design, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

Topics: audience development, outreach, non-visitors, digitalitsation, cultural education, future assessment

Funding body: Interreg

Research Partners

Research Group Empirical Social Sciences, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Centre for Arts Management (ZKM), School of Management and Law

Cooperation Partners

Vorarlberg Museum:


Project Outline

Today, meeting the diversity of society, opening up to a broader audience by means of alternative approaches and enabling the co-negotiation of contemporary discourses are major objectives for museums. However, how these goals can be achieved needs to be investigated in more detail. Especially the integration of digital possibilities to complement the presence offer of museums does not necessarily mean a stronger participation of broader target groups that have not yet participated in cultural offerings, but must be designed context-sensitively.


Therefore, this project explores:

the needs, motivations and expectations of museum visitors and non-visitors

_potentials and risks of digitalisation to reach broader target groups

_future perspectives for museum program planing and development

In this context, a human-centred design approach enables the development of methods and approaches for exploring the orientations and motivations of possible visitor groups, as well as the development of context-sensitive, adaptable formats of mediation. In order to reach the project’s goal of an interdisciplinary investigation of the potentials of addressing non-visitor groups, the research strategy of triangulation of social science and design research approaches is applied:
On the basis of a quantitative survey of demographic data on visitor and non-visitor groups, representatives of the identified groups are recruited in order to ascertain their motivations, needs and orientations in the course of action research using qualitative methods. The participatory method of “Future Workshops” is used to determine future development horizons. The insights gained through the workshops are used to develop a toolbox, which assists museums to critically evaluate their communication and digitalisation measures to generate impulses for the future conception and programme planning – especially focusing on the goal of addressing broader target groups.