Talking with Eike Schmidt – Director of the Uffizi Galleries
Eike Schmidt (Director of the Uffizi Galleries) is the first guest of our new column “Talking with the chef” where CultureLabs meets big players and professionals to know their recipes about social and cultural innovation.
We start with a very special guest: the Director of the Uffizi Galleries, one of the main cultural istitutions worldwide, based in Florence “cradle of the Renaissance“ and one of the most important collections about humanistic culture.
For this, the Uffizi Galleries have a long history about user-centered approach. This has now become an international trend, but in the Uffizi it dates back to the 1950s but nowadays there are such huge opportunities that did not exist before. And this is not related to the new technologies only.
Eike Schmidt explains how an international museum such Uffizi Galleries deal with new audiences and new challenges, keeping the human element at the centre. “For instance, digitally speaking VR is certainly interesting but what is really excting is the AR because we can focus on what we do already have“.
“Again, it’s not only about technologies but also about human interaction is fundamental, we founded a department of accessibility and cultural mediation which offered almost 200 hundreds of special tours, or actually, workshops. This is increasing, in fact it is a very important part of our strategy“.
This newly funded department aimed at fully integrating new audiences: “every visitor is different from each other and we can not have even today a clean group in our minds that studied art and have a university degree. This is not our audience anymore“.
“In order to avoid that the Uffizi one of the greatest museums in the world is downgraded to a simple attraction is truly important to open up and to think to the variety of approaches, a very wide range of potential approaches for people with different cultural, social, educational background“.
What is crucial even using technologies is always to keep the human element at the centre, important to build a platform not technology-driven, but driven by human needs, to exchange ideas and to learn.
So, the challenges are clear, what are the solutions implemented by the Uffizi Galleries? If you would discover it please see the interview here below.