This article seeks to provide a review of research on museum visiting which has particular relevance for exhibition design. It focuses on empirical studies carried out in a range of social and cultural disciplines. The article begins with an overview of some of the main directions that have been reported in museum visitor study, in particular a shift towards considering visitors as ‘active’ and to looking at affective and embodied dimensions of the visitor experience as well as at the cognitive and ideational. It then looks in more detail at findings and attempts to build a conceptual vocabulary in three related areas of museum visitor research: media, sociality and space. In addition to assessing the state-of-play so far, the article seeks to outline areas for future research.
- Exhibition design; Visitor studies; Museum; Media; Sociality