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Interview with Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet – Universcience

(Head of Innovation, Design, Production and Multimedia at Universcience)
The latest Numix Lab (between Brussels and Amsterdam, December 4-8, 2023) was an opportunity to examine the practices surrounding digital art and the places that host it. A very active 5-day immersion where Unframed Collection was able to set down its camera and interview those who connect XR creation with the general public.

Sixth interview: Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet, Head of Innovation, Design, Production and Multimedia at Universcience, is in charge of digital museography for exhibitions, i.e. all audiovisual, interactive and immersive devices for events.

What is Universcience?

Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet – Universcience is the merger of two establishments in Paris: the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in the Parc de la Villette, and the Palais de la Découverte (currently closed for renovation, and which will house a number of digital devices).

What challenges do immersive technologies address?

Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet – Immersive technologies play on visitors’ senses. And you can play on them, if you want to guide them, trap them, hold them on a subject. Retention is higher, even on highly technical subjects such as quantum physics. These are great tools for working on complex subjects.

Can you give us some examples?

Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet – At the moment, we have a virtual reality prototype on the dimensional elevator. We had initially planned to use an immersive space to explain what goes on at the heart of atoms. But the complexity of the subject called for a different approach, and in agreement with our scientific manager we came up with the idea of a vertical elevator. The VR test enabled us to properly calibrate the experience for our audiences, with the help of a mediator as well. The Palais de la Découverte is renowned for its human approach, notably through the contribution of mediators and experts who really explain the concepts covered. Immersion appeals to us because it allows us to do more than with traditional media, with a much more vivid memory.

How do you imagine the museum of the future?

Stéphanie Orlic Mathevet – For me, after 20 years of expertise in this sector, the future must move away from physical screens. With something more audio, for example, or more innovative intangible, immaterial interface proposals. The question of digital responsibility is also important to us at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, and we’re thinking about how to write an exhibition using digital technology. It’s a work in progress…


© Unframed Collection – 2023

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