This week, Index Design published an article on augmented museum experiences as part of a series exploring inspiring uses of technology. Featured in this piece: « After Dark », an online experience created back in 2014 that allowed viewers to roam the darkened galleries of the Tate Britain after midnight.
Created by design studio The Workers, four robots elegantly gliding across the museum’s floors offered anyone with access to the internet the chance to view the collection from their very own home. We think it’s a compelling project in the way that it uses technology, tapping into that natural curiosity we've all had: What happens when the lights go off and all the museum-goers have gone home? There's something magical and intimate about feeling like you're "secretly" left to roam the halls of a place filled with objects that hold so much history, baring witness to a collection that seems to take on a life of its own.
We're fascinated by projects like this one because they question the evolving role of the museum. These visitor curiosities have likely always existed, but how can museums tap into them, breaking the clear boundaries that exist and ultimately bringing people closer to an exhibition’s content? Although it’s clear that a digital visit will never replace the experience of seeing a collection face-to-face, After Dark definitely offers food for thought on a growing desire to remix the ways museums engage with visitors.