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Minds on for the wise: rethinking the contemporary interactive exhibition

Wang, Qi; Lei, Yanhui


Qi Wang

Yanhui Lei


During the development of exhibition narratives, traditional ‘eyes-on’ exhibitions and interactive ‘hands-on’ exhibitions are currently widely used in museums for delivering information and establishing dialogue. Although ‘hands-on’ exhibitions were heavily promoted on account of being more advanced than ‘eyes-on’ exhibitions in terms of meeting new requirements of the visitors, both types actually represent the same nature of structuralism that do not offer the visitors much flexibility on self-interpretation. In the field of philosophy, the theory of structuralism, being heavily critiqued by its restriction on free reading and understanding, has been widely challenged by the theory of deconstruction since the 1960s. Correspondingly, a new type of exhibition known as ‘minds-on’, as a prototype to offer the visitors genuine freedom of appreciating the exhibition with their own understanding, could be considered as a new frontier of exhibition design.


Wang, Q., & Lei, Y. (in press). Minds on for the wise: rethinking the contemporary interactive exhibition. Museum Management and Curatorship,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 30, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2016
Journal Museum Management and Curatorship
Print ISSN 0964-7775
Electronic ISSN 1872-9185
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Eyes-on; hands-on; minds-on; structuralism; deconstruction; exhibition
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Aug 3, 2016

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