Virtueel Museum van Vlaanderen

Studio Dott
Vlaamse overheid / Departement Cultuur, Jeugd en Media

Virtual Museum of Flanders is a research and concept development for making Flemish heritage widely accessible.

Virtual Museum of Flanders
Virtual Museum of Flanders

The Flemish government wants to develop a “virtual museum for the history and culture of Flanders” as a tool for the digital transformation of the heritage sector. From the perspective of “understand to design and design to understand”, Studio Dott has set up a design-led research project to explore and depict the meaningful ways in which the intended, extremely diverse and broad target group can be brought into contact with heritage. This process resulted in a validated value proposition supported by the stakeholder, which was tangibly presented using a digital product concept.

The jury on Virtual Museum of Flanders:

“This project relies on thorough user research that has led to the right results. The digital application is easy to use and has a low entry threshold.”

What does this award mean to you?

Studio Dott: Achieving this recognition highlights for us that the “core characteristic of designs” is the confluence of different disciplines. The layering and foundation that we achieved in this project goes so much deeper than the purely visual. It is above all about distilling a supported concept, which facilitates awareness-raising of strategic interests. Receiving this award shows that investing in design research and consciously taking a holistic and systemic approach is appreciated.

How did the idea for this project come about?

Studio Dott: The seeds for this project were sown by taking contextual research seriously. By taking to the streets and working with a well-prepared research plan, it became possible to turn insights into the requirements of an innovative product and service combination. For example, the integration into the target group’s daily life, using fast and fleeting content, appeared to be a key insight that continued throughout the concept. Because a strategic framework was developed simultaneously alongside the concept design, it became possible to use this framework to guide the conceptual choices in each iteration.

What makes the project so special?

Studio Dott: “Op je pad” [On your way] allows for different levels of use, making the product concept committed to reaching a broad target group in an accessible, repeated and effective way. The focus is above all on inspiring and providing opportunities. In contrast to offering a rigid and scripted experience, the concept allows for very flexible use, with the aim of offering a product and service in which everyone can find something tailored to their needs. For example, a young person with little affinity for heritage can still be inspired via “snackable content” and a person with in-depth interest in one specific theme can be directed to thematic walks.

Virtual Museum of Flanders
Virtual Museum of Flanders
Virtual Museum of Flanders