The Victoria & Albert Museum, has been a favorite of Londoners, and others, since it was founded in 1852. This museum prides itself on making works of art available to all. The museum touches many art genres from pop-culture and fashion, to ancient sculpture and architecture. Creating a mobile app for one of the worlds most inspiring museums sounds like the job of a lifetime! We were fascinated to see what such a creative setting would do in the tablet world. We think you will be fascinated as well.
V&A Calendar App
In February of 2012 the V&A released an exhibition calendar app using the mag+ platform as a test. The decision to use mag+ was about being able to provide quality content, affordably. According to Malcolm Sutherland, head of digital projects for the V&A, “mag+ was the only platform with entirely transparent costs from the start, regardless of download numbers. With mag+ there was no compromise on quality or cost.”
The calendar app turned out to be a popular and cost effective resource. It has been downloaded 16,000 times and has actually improved internal communications within the V&A. It now serves as a database for exhibition events.
Played in Britain: 100 Great Plays
After the success of the V&A calendar app, the team began creating what they originally set out to create – a tablet app designed to highlight an archive of theatrical photos and materials stored in the V&A’s Theater and Performance section. The Played in Britain app guides users through six decades of British theater history and elegantly showcases over 600 historical images and other multimedia content. The V&A is extremely conscious of ensuring everything displayed is displayed in high quality. With the Played in Britain app, photographs were central to the app. The mag+ tools actually enhanced the images, allowing them to be enlarged, contextualized and viewed without borders.
Impact on the V&A
According to a study done by Empirical Media, two-thirds of tablet readers are between 18-35. Through the creation of two tablet apps, the V&A has been able to reach a new, younger audience and inspire them to get involved in the arts. They are also reaching a larger, more global audience that is outside of London. With the Played in Britain app, art lovers that live in India, or Mexico or anywhere, can enjoy a V&A exhibit. The V&A created a truly unique and creative mobile app that can be downloaded here. Az Mohammad, Creative Director for the Victoria and Albert Museum apps, walks us through the creation of the Played in Britain app in the video below.