Andy Warhol Tactile Reproductions and Mobile Application
Client: The Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum’s mission is to engage and inspire through Warhol’s life, art, and legacy, and the museum is committed to including all visitors in that mission. The museum set out to make a number of Andy Warhol's works accessible to a wider audience, especially blind and low vision visitors, through tactile reproductions and an audio guide called Out Loud. The replicas were custom built to be extremely sturdy so that they stand the test of time and the inquisitive touches of thousands of visitors.
The mobile application contains recorded speech, while also being fully accessible through the various built-in technologies on one's personal device. For each artwork, PAC consulted on prototypes of the tactile replicas. We wrote and recorded not only a visual description, but also a guided tactile description to walk the visitor through the experience of touching each reproduction in order to understand the textures and elevations present and how they map to the original artwork. PAC also helped ensure and improve the accessibility of the app.
In 2017, the Out Loud app was used for 1,800 sessions. Out Loud received media coverage from The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and 90.5 WESA, and won the 2017 Gold MUSE award for mobile applications from the American Alliance of Museums. AAM called Out Loud “a shining example of Universal Design” and “a beacon in the museum technology sector and beyond.”
The application is available on iOS for Apple products and is Bluetooth beacon aware; the museum also provides devices to visitors. Check it out on the Apple App Store or read about the process from the former Manager of Digital Engagement at The Andy Warhol Museum.