WKU student creates interactive museum exhibit

Trey Crumbie

When most people do their thesis, they must do hours of tedious and monotonous research and information compiling. However, some people’s theses are more involved.

For her honors thesis, Louisville senior Brie Logsdon worked on ‘Inside Confucius,’ an interactive museum exhibit that shows the history and purpose of the Confucius Institute that doubles as a news story.

Inside Confucius was created by Western iMedia, an entrepreneurial editorial start up of which Logsdon is a member.

The exhibit incorporates augmented reality. In this case, the augmented reality is digital information that is displayed through technology such as a mobile phone.

“If you download the app on your phone and you hold it up to a picture, we’ve overlaid video on that so that it connects and recognizes the picture and starts playing video as you hold it up,” Logsdon said.

Logsdon emphasized the interactivity of the exhibit.

“We can physically guide someone through the story,” Logsdon said. “So it just takes that interactivity to a whole different level.”

Logsdon said that Western iMedia tried to make the project as engaging as possible due to the instant access of news.

“We wanted to draw an audience or a visitor in as much as possible,” Logsdon said. “And creating an experience that they can’t get anywhere else is one way to do that.”

Because of her other engagements, such as her internship at Imagewest, Logsdon said there were lots of sleepless nights she had while doing the project.

“Sometimes like three in a row,” Logsdon said. “But it was totally worth it in the end.”

Kerry Northrup, coordinator of Western iMedia and a professional-in-residence in WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, said he was interested in doing a story about the Confucius institute after finding out about the reach of the program.

Northrup said the program puts more teachers at the local level into United States schools than any other country.

“They put more in Kentucky than almost anywhere else in the country,” Northrup said.

He also said that President Gary Ransdell will present the museum exhibit to Hanban, the headquarters of the Confucius institute located in China, later this month.

Logsdon said that her research on museum engagement design helped with the creation of Inside Confucius.

“There were way more parallels than I thought there would ever be between museum engagement design and what we try to do as journalists in engaging an audience,” Logsdon said. “So as soon as I found those parallels, and as the story developed and came together, I started applying that knowledge to the story.”

Logsdon said she was happy to work on the project due to her interest in journalism.

“I love journalism, and I wanted to keep working with it,” Logsdon said. “I wanted to get more active in the journalism community.”

Inside Confucius will be on display in the Kentucky Museum until May 12.