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Making connections

3D printing, Libraries and augmenting their reality.

Digital technologies have initiated a global shift in the way we conceive, configure, and exchange information. This shift is occurring on many levels and is impacting the way many organisations operate; including Libraries.

This thesis speculates on what 3D printing and Augmented Reality can potentially be used for, through a series of design scenarios that simulate future possibilities.

The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa provided the context for this exploration and the opportunity to demonstrate how revisiting their collections with reference to these new technologies can empower its mandate to “collect, connect and co-create knowledge to power New Zealand” (National Library of New Zealand, 2015).

To do this three scenarios were created to explore how to make these connections. Creating different interactions between users and the collections as plausible strategies for The National Library to employ that engage new technologies along with re-invigorating collections. This thesis proposes near future scenarios of museum and library integrations for digital technologies, as it’s clear that digital technologies will play a significant role in the future of these institutions.

The thesis component of my masters gave me a great opportunity to push my design skills much further than before, tackling a large-scale design problem with a blue-sky approach to see just how far it could be pushed. It also allowed me to fully uncover my passion for creating experiences and crafting interactions. Being given the opportunity to develop my design research, 3D parametric modeling, 3D printing, design thinking, prototyping, scenario building and graphic design skills all in one project. The Masters experience set me up to look at problems with a wider perspective which I will cherish throughout my career I believe.