Proposed Director of Studies: Professor James Daybell


Professional Partner: V&A Museum, London


Project Details:


How is heritage experienced physically and emotionally? This project is aimed at addressing this question by combining (a) material culture approaches to the museum, collection and object with (b) pioneering biomedical techniques for the measuring emotional response of participants.


The project with be developed in collaboration with V&A Museum in London ( It will develop Machine Learning methods to analyse quantitative and quantitative data in connection with participants’ experience of museum collection. The objective is to gain a better understanding of how such data can be harnessed to form a more comprehensive understanding of curatorial practices.


Artificial Intelligence technology pioneered in the field of computer music will be applied to measure emotional response to different scores and musical forms to the realm of the museum, as a way of enhancing the design of exhibitions and enhancing curatorial experiences/practices, with the aim of maximal engagement with patrons, designing distinct pathways through collections, geared to educational experience and improving gift-shop revenues.


The research will address the lack of scientifically produced data on the value of heritage broadly speaking in terms of understanding the physiological or emotional response towards heritage as it is situated and presented in museums. This project aims to bring together cutting-edge technologies measuring bio-signals; that is, actively or passively experienced bio-physiological responses (from heart rate, to neurophysiological cues) to a new domain to which it has not yet been applied: Heritage.


For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact or