Learning through interaction: Experiencing the history of West Texas through the Mallet Ranch



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



A museum, by definition, creates a place in which to learn. However, often the activities done in a Museum are passive: observing photographs or displaced simulations. A museum need not be a sterile environment in which one passively observes a fixed object from behind ropes or glass. It can be more than a simple box in which one looks at the faded images of the past. Architecture can enable a Museum to become a tool to enhance the learning experience. It can use this experience to evoke a change in the observer. This can be done by creating a dynamic learning environment that fosters interaction with what ·is being studied. This approach requires a reinterpretation of the traditional definition of a museum. Rather than creating an experience in which a user views and studies the exhibits of a traditional museum detached from their context, here a user can examine history by directly interacting with it in its context. This experience creates an intense learning experience that provokes a change in the observer. By learning and interacting with the past one can come to realize how it has direct relevance to the way modern society lives.