Title:Fostering deep engagement and enhanced learning through wonder, creativity, and play
Authors:David London
Publication:MW2020: MuseWeb 2020

Offering research, methods, and new perspectives on how museums can embrace and utilize experiences based on fostering wonder, creativity and play to offer deeper engagement to their visitors, while simultaneously facilitating a mindset that is highly conducive to enhanced learning.

Based on over 20 years of experience creating interactive and wonder-based experiences, along with a lifelong investigation into magic, mind, and creativity, David London brings a unique attitude and approach to contemporary museum practice.

From medieval alchemists to stage magicians, Surrealists, mystics, art therapists, and adherents to concept of "flow," it has long been known that an engaged and receptive state of mind can be achieved achieving a balance between the physical and the mental. David believes that experiences of wonder, creativity and play are the easiest and perhaps most direct path to access this heightened state of mind.

While the typical museum model puts the object first, supported by label text, but David proposes the inverse-- story and experience first, supported by the objects. As opposed to the aimless meander through museum spaces, the visitor experience can thereby be intentionally designed to foster genuine engagement and retention of knowledge.

By developing museum experiences designed first and foremost to place visitors into an open and receptive way of seeing and being, the resulting effect is that they often forget that they are learning, while simultaneously remembering more information. 

Embracing and adapting proven tools of engagement through techniques that alter consciousness can allow museums to not only continue to provide new information and ideas that remain with their visitors, but also to maintain their role as an integral part of culture and society at large.