Museum Machina

The museum as a source of inspiration for digital creativity for young people

Date of project: 2017-2019

Young person participating in creative workshop by using a box cutter to cut out a design

About Museum Machina

The Arts Council funded ‘Museums Machina’ project set out to consider how artists work with museum collections within their creative practice. Artists were invited to explore how the collections could be used as a resource and a source of inspiration for digital creativity with young people.

The project was led by Daisi, an arts education charity based in Exeter, in partnership with RAMM and The Box in Plymouth. A range of digital creative workshops were offered to children and young people both via RAMM’s public programme, and via specific invited schools and targeted groups such as the Exeter Deaf Academy. 

The aims of Museums Machina were:

  • To explore the potential for artists to use museum collections in their working practice.
  • Explore how young people can relate to, and benefit from, interaction with museum collections using digital technology.
  • Encourage artists, young people, and educational settings to embed the use of museum collections into their creative practice.

The ‘Museums Machina’ project enabled Devon artists and young people to share cutting-edge digital techniques, explore museum collections and produce innovative artwork.

The pilot project ran with 8 schools and educational settings in 2017/18, and was further developed for the public programme in 2018/19. Each workshop was run by a different artist linked to Daisi, and used RAMM’s handling collections and digital technology as a direct stimulus.

Participants & partners

The project was funded by the Arts Council and supported by Exeter-based arts education charity Daisi.

Between October 2017 and March 2019 RAMM ran a total of 16 digital creative workshops in partnership with Daisi artists, enabling over 300 young people between the ages of 8 and 16 to take part.

Feedback so far

“I enjoyed working with museum objects, they were interesting and inspirational. The patterns made my work more unique and it was fun to bring it alive using my smartphone.” – Young person

“I definitely feel I have developed an improved workshop structure as a result of this project, I have a far deeper understanding of the needs of educational settings and how to overcome the challenges they face, especially around the use of digital technology, time and resources.” – Artist

“I’ve learnt new skills, working with an artist made an impact on my abilities and it helped by expanding my ideas.” – Young person

What next?

Daisi’s evaluation report received the following feedback from young people:

  • 80% said they would use museums and objects to inspire their creative work in future
  • 66% said the experience of using objects to inspire their creative work would make them want to visit a museum in future.
  • 72% said working with an artist increased their confidence to be creative with digital tools.

RAMM continued its partnership with Daisi for a third year running to offer more digital creative workshops to young people inspired by RAMM’s collections. It also offered Arts Award projects which integrated digital elements for young people, including a week long Bronze Arts Award summer school and a Saturday Arts Award Club.

RAMM also continues to develop a faster WiFi network in the museum for all visitors, which will make creative digital projects in the galleries quicker and more reliable in future.

Further information

Maya Herbolzheimer
Engagement Officer

[email protected]
01392 265965