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Lewis Gibson

Royal Holloway University of London (2023)


Dr Tom Parkinson


Experiential audio in museum contexts


The museum and heritage sector is undergoing an exciting shift in its embrace of sound and sound technologies as both the object and medium of curation. This project will respond to this shift through an interdisciplinary combination of practice-based and scholarly research investigating how audio can enhance visitor experience in a museum context.

Centred around designs for the San Clemente monastery in Rome, the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben in the Palace of Westminster and a new space of contemplation in St. Paul’s Cathedral, this research intends to look at a wide number of technologies that can be used to deliver sound, from low-fi analogue solutions to the latest technical possibilities whilst exploring the breadth of audio content creation. The project builds on prior and current research conducted by the student and the supervisory team, including a knowledge-exchange project on the future of audio design in the museum and heritage sector which is due to conclude in March 2023.

This exploration is led by a practitioner with considerable experience of working on audio design in internationally significant museum and heritage contexts, who has collaborated with senior scholars on a number of impactful academic research projects, and whose work has been recognised as path-breaking in mainstream, specialist and academic media. The originality of this project is in its systematic evaluation of experimental practices in a mainstream context, resulting in a portfolio of real-world works supported by a critical exploration of associated technical and curatorial processes.