The Museum as Ecosystem and Museums in Learning Ecosystems

  • Amalia Sabiescu
  • Katerina Charatzopoulou
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


In this chapter, we suggest that ecological thinking can inform the design of audience-centred and society-relevant learning experiences in museums, with a focus on digital learning. We draw attention to two interrelated perspectives for positioning museum learning experiences: First, their embedding in the museum ecosystem, which includes the collections and spaces, but also museum staff, audiences and the intricate webs of interactions and relationships that underpin the everyday life of the museum. Second, the place of the museum in a broader education ecosystem, which includes formal and informal education providers, learners, as well as other social and institutional actors that shape educational practice. We illustrate this perspective through a case study of a successful long-term partnership between a museum and a technology company for innovating the learning offer for young audiences: The Samsung Digital Discovery Centre at the British Museum. We use a communicative ecologies framework to examine the context and determinants of the Samsung Centre digital learning design approach, how this evolved, and its impacts on the variety of digital interaction patterns that are offered and constantly refined by the Centre. On this basis, we discuss implications for the design of digital learning experiences in museums in increasingly interconnected ecosystems, within and outside museum walls.



This chapter draws upon research conducted in the frame of the RICHES project, which was funded under EU 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, grant agreement no. 612789.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough University LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherBerlinGermany

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