The welcoming experience of the arrival space in museums

Guo, Sifan (2022) The welcoming experience of the arrival space in museums. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (19MB)


Since the world first public museum opened in the late seventeenth century in Oxford, many efforts have been made on welcoming visitors. Nowadays, the museum should not only focus on the increasing number of visitors, but also should consider how to provide a more comfortable and popular visiting experience to various people from every angle, such as the people with different cultures, religions, ethnicities and educational backgrounds, and attracts more repeat visitors. Therefore, the arrival space is particularly important as the first stop for people to understand the museum.

The arrival space is like a boundary between the outside world and the inside museum. Two stages need to be considered here: how to engage diverse visitors to enter the museum, and another is how to keep the museum attraction after people come in there. In other words, weakening the boundary or making it more transparent and open, and offering a welcoming experience should be the final goal in this research.

To explore the above issues, the first part of the thesis needs to overview and analysis the significant literature on the field of museum studies, public space design, visitor's behaviours and visiting experience. Thus, theoretical research will introduce the review of the public museum's historical development to discover the publicness of the museum and different kinds of public space in the museum. The great architectural appearance and the attractive theme of museums determine their appeals directly. However, the impressive visiting experience is the key to retaining visitors. Many cases of contemporary museums will be mentioned here to identify the concept of arrival space. Its research significance and the visiting experience will be discussed. Based on these, a hypothesis of welcoming experience in arrival space will be proposed, following the Assessment System of Visiting Experience (ASVE). Due to the different personalities and preferences, it isn't easy to establish a clear standard to measure visitors' experiences in museums. The ASVE can be a survey method to help to understand the visiting experience in real cases.

In the second part, the leading case study needs to collect an immense amount of data to verify the factors that affect the visitor experience by the previous assessment system. Natural History Museum in London is a famous museum with a long history, attracting many people every year. Its three arrival spaces serve different exhibition themes and architecture styles, suitable for the research. The questionnaire, observations and interviews will be used to analyse the influence factor of the various visitors' experiences in the museum. The outcome will be design guidelines to enable the museum and visitors to meet an understanding consensus.

This research's main objective is to help improve the visitors' experience in the contemporary museum by the design of a welcoming experience. Moreover, the creation of a welcoming experience can be applied to a broader range of architectural fields, no matter in museums or other public institutions. Especially in the special period of the pandemic, the welcoming experience needs to be created in the public space to stimulate people's positive attitudes toward life.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hanks, Laura
Wang, Qi
Keywords: New Museology; Arrival Space; Visiting Experience; Welcoming Experience; Assessment System of Visiting Experience (ASVE)
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 67498
Depositing User: Guo, Sifan
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 04:30

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View