Category: interpretive planning
This month I decided to re-read Freeman Tilden’s seminal work “Interpreting Our Heritage”. All these years later it still underpins how we approach heritage interpretation. Yet, something occurred to me whilst I was reading the book, and it relates to audiences; more specifically those who come to a heritage site or museum to build on their extensive knowledge.
As interpreters we are encouraged to think of our target audiences as ‘window shoppers’ who are receptive to ‘learning’ if it captures their imagination. Tilden himself states, “To capitalise on this mood, even if it arises from pure curiosity of whim, is a challenge to the interpreter.” He adds, “The visitor is unlikely to respond unless what you have to tell, or show, touched his personal experience, thoughts, hopes, way of life, social position, or whatever else.”
This second quote suggests interpretation can appeal … Read More »
Working with heritage organisations to develop creative and practical ideas to supercharge the visitor experience.
What is interpretation?
Interpretation is a communication process, designed to reveal meanings and relationships of our cultural and natural heritage, to the public, through thought-provoking first-hand involvement with objects, artefacts, landscapes and sites. [adapted from Interpretation Canada]
Interpretation therefore translates the technical language of experts into the informal ‘everyday’ language of visitors. It has an authoritative air, but goes beyond just providing information; it is revelation based upon any statement of fact. For the communication to be interpretative, it must improve visitors understanding and enjoyment through provoking interest, relating to their experience and revealing something new. The same communication processes are used to create powerful adverts for tv, radio, print.
What is an interpretation plan?
An interpretive plan provides the strategy to ensure that your site’s messages are truly connecting with, and being understood, by … Read More »