Image: Isidro Ferrer
When we write content to a museum or an interpretation centre, we have in mind a number of factors that will help us in the didactic “construction” of such content. Harold Lasswell, theorist of communication, formulated beyond by 1948 a famous paradigm published in a book’s title: The communication of ideas. Lasswell theories revolve around the communication process and in relation to five specific questions on this process: who says what?, by what means?, in which channel?, to whom, in what situation?, with results short and long term?
The question “who?” says the issuer, their intentions and their purposes. When issuing an information, can it be influenced by nature and human formation of the person/persons that emits such information? is it a neutral person at the time of reporting? We must assess whether the information we receive is neutral or on the other hand, is influenced by some reason which makes that we do not receive it as a universal truth. Ask yourself if there’s commercial purposes, ideological or aesthetic criteria underlying who produces the message. On the second part of the question, “what?”, is very important to help us verify not only the context in which occurs the information but also its content. It’s reaching the receiver with the greatest possible efficiency. As issuers, it forces us to pay attention to aspects such as the amount of information and the form of presentation, that should be clear and direct. In addition, it forces us to set a target of communication. This point is very important when we need, for example, to explain didactically the mechanical performance of something to a child audience.
Image: Shigeo Fukuda
The question “by what means?” leads us to ask ourselves what will be the best way of presenting the contents, information: a brochure written, a poster, a photograph, a film, a model, a computer graphics 3D…; i.e., you must choose the language that best suits the didactic effect that we intend to achieve, taking into account that this understanding should occur in all ages. At the same time this approach proposes the kind of technology that we use to spread the contents, as well as viewing and audio mode.
Imagen: Campaña Buroeng
The following question: “who, in that situation?” inquires about the public where we are going; the level of prior knowledge, who are you supposed to, the degree of interest, the ability to understand certain presentations of content, etc. When you add the question of the situation, we must ask ourselves the environment surrounding a given message. It may be competing against others many or be related to a particular message If it is a separate part, whether it is the explanation of an idea above, if it raises a new question. Problems of physical nature – the place where is located the message – context social or personal problems. We must reflect much at this point to know that degree of complexity we must print the contents. Certainly in the way in which we work the contents are those who are scholarship grade zero and it is not agreed that a book is purchased. Surely in the Museum Shop you will find a lot of literature.
For ir ending. The final question is related to physical, trying to comply with certainty, if we have achieved the objectives in the communication process that we analyze. It refers both to the General objectives and details of the didactic explanation. In a museum you have to calibrate what facts and what content the visitor half – including children and senior citizens (e.g. vision difficulties) – have been able to retain. At the same time, it must take into account other readings – the point of view of different races on a content referred to a certain ethnic group, for example – and many others depending on the nature of exposure that you are going to build: war, colonization, politics, terrorism, ethnic groups, religion, etc. are an example of very special themes and that needs to be addressed with extreme care.
Image: Micah Panama
SANTACANA MESTRE, Joan / SERRAT ANTOLÍ, Núria
Editorial Ariel Patrimonio, Barcelona (2007)