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Gifting in Museums: Using Multiple Time Orientations to Heighten Present-Moment Engagement

Spence, Jocelyn; Darzentas, Dimitrios; Cameron, Harriet; Huang, Yitong; Adams, Matt; Farr, Ju Row; Tandavanitj, Nick; Benford, Steve


Jocelyn Spence

Harriet Cameron

Yitong Huang

Matt Adams

Ju Row Farr

Nick Tandavanitj

Steve Benford


HCI has recently increased its interest in the domains of museums and gifting. The former is often oriented primarily towards the past, while the latter is often oriented towards the future, in terms of anticipating the receiver’s reactions. Our article provides a sustained and well-evidenced new theoretical framework on the role of time-orientation on the design of forward-oriented (gifting) experiences in past-oriented (museum) settings. This Temporal Experience Design Framework develops from the analysis of two such studies, one smartphone app and one VR experience using passive haptics. Both interventions prompted the user to reflect on the past while planning a gift or donation for future consumption. We apply a novel combination of analyses to both projects using the lenses of conversational storytelling, performance, and human geography. Our analyses reveal the power of orienting users towards the past and the future – simultaneously – to enhance the present moment of a performative engagement. Our aim is to provide a conceptual framework that can help design researchers to identify, name, and understand how time-orientation can be used to enhance user and visitor experience. We also extrapolate design guidelines that we expect may be fruitful outside these contexts.


Spence, J., Darzentas, D., Cameron, H., Huang, Y., Adams, M., Farr, J. R., …Benford, S. (2022). Gifting in Museums: Using Multiple Time Orientations to Heighten Present-Moment Engagement. Human-Computer Interaction, 37(2), 180-210.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 10, 2021
Publication Date Mar 4, 2022
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2022
Journal Human–Computer Interaction
Print ISSN 0737-0024
Electronic ISSN 1532-7051
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 2
Pages 180-210
Keywords Human-Computer Interaction; Applied Psychology
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