Museum Dr. Guislain
The GuislainGuislain app
For visitors to the Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, to develop and design an app that tells the story of the building and the character of Dr. Guislain.
The app offers the visitor an experience far beyond a single visit to the Museum Dr. Guislain. The app streamlines historical information and a large amount of research data. Exclusive information made permanently and freely available to every museum visitor.
With the team from the museum and UGent we worked out how to tell an exciting yet informative story. The experience of museum communication, combined with signage, proved useful here.
We started by looking at the potential of the site. What are its strengths? How might we surprise the visitors? The visitor experience is foremost. The involvement of the museum’s public outreach team was essential to this. We examined the location in various ways, in order to focus on every detail. Ultimately, we defined 11 points of interest.
The impressive archives contain a vast amount of material: historic images, interviews, quotes, patient records, etc. It was important to structure the content and find a balance between the things that are of real scientific importance and those that are of interest to the casual visitor. Who were the patients? Who was this character, Dr. Guislain? How has the site evolved?
The building’s history is interwoven with the story of Dr. Guislain. The GuislainGuislain app is intended to shed light on the 19th-century world of mental illness through the eyes of Professor Guislain, by means of a walk through the history of psychiatry. A route through the museum site in which the app is the digital support and guide.
Details make the difference
An in-your-face design was not exactly what we were looking for, but rather a sophisticated approach with a feel for the underlying details. We challenge the visitor to go on and explore.
The app aims to add value, even after the museum visit. The research data is structured and presented in three orderly columns.
Dr. Guislain’s influence on modern psychiatry cannot be overestimated. A sense of this heritage comes across in the app.