The Science Museum’s Technician’s Gallery

The Science Museum’s Technicians Gallery

The Technicians Gallery highlights the vital work of technicians in our daily lives, concentrating on the creative arts, advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and renewable energy. The gallery, created in collaboration with Marvel Studios, the NHS, National Grid, and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, hopes to inspire more young people to consider a career as a technician.

The Goal

The Gallery wanted to make an experience for young people as accessible and relevant as possible. A key demographic that was thought to be underrepresented was 11-16-year-olds who are blind or have low vision. If the gallery was really to do its job in raising the visibility of technicians and their work to as wide an audience of young people as possible, then this demographic needed addressing.

Smartify’s Solution

The target audience was front and centre of Smartify and The Science Museum’s approach. Working with the RNIB and VICTA, a charity dedicated to providing activities and services to young people who are blind and partially sighted and their families, a focus group of 16 young people representing the full range of visual impairments played an active role in co-creating the kind of experience that they felt resonated with them the best.

Smartify spent time on-site at the target industries profiled in the gallery space, from wind turbine manufacturers to advanced manufacturing and some of the UK’s foremost R&D labs in healthcare, engaging with actual technicians and listening to their stories, as told in their working environments.

The Results

The end product is a digital experience that breaks ground in Visual Description tours in several ways. Each zone in the gallery is introduced by a spoken word performance, co-created by Arji Manuelpillai and the focus group, which hands over a range of characters scripted and produced by Peter Knowles. The whole experience is skillfully interwoven with practical directions and spatial descriptions that enable an independent and inclusive experience for anyone who is blind or has low vision.

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