Summary of approved PhD theses

Museums for children?
Ing. arch. Natália Bošková Filová, PhD.

It is important for the society to offer possibilities to participate in cultural events in museums to all groups of people. Likewise, museums are hugely important in the life of children, playing a role in their education, artistic sensitivity, and socialisation. This dissertation aims at finding out whether it is significant and beneficial to have a museum for children as a separate object or facility. Such a museum would come in addition to exhibitions created for children as part of regular museums and galleries, which are more widespread in our region. The thesis focuses on a children’s museum concept in the context of Central Europe, where the stand-alone children’s museums are scarce. Thus, also the architecture of museums that target child visitors only in the form of specific exhibits or parts of exhibitions dedicated to them is analysed and examined through case studies. Playful solutions, multisensory and interactive design are applied to ensure that children are able to absorb the necessary information. Four main functions of traditional museums and museums for children have been identified, namely the collection, educational, exhibition, and inclusion functions. These functions are explored using different methods in order to derive recommendations for designing a quality museum for children that would address each of these functions. On the theoretical level, the research visions are developed through the study of scientific publications and project documentation. Field research in the context of BIBIANA – International House of Art for Children in Bratislava, Slovakia, and other museums was also employed and so were model projects in cooperation with students of the Faculty of Architecture and De-sign of the Slovak University of Technology under the Universal Design course. Another research tool are surveys and interviews conducted to investigate the interaction of children and young people in the museum spaces and their preferences. Furthermore, research by design of creative solutions in the museum for children was applied. The architecture of the museum should have an easy-to-understand layout that promotes clear navigation in the building. Good quality spatial solutions can create the atmosphere of concentration, relaxation, experiences, and stories, and thus contribute to the education, learning and developing taste in children. The way in which spaces are composed in a museum, the degree to which they are free or articulated, and tour routes are all of high importance. It is essential that the architecture of the museum for children is consistent with the principles of Universal Design enabling as many diverse people as possible to make full use of the environment, so that the museum can be enjoyed equally by children and adults with different needs and of different age.

Principles of time measurement and their development using intelligent technologies
Mgr. art. Petra Huraiová, ArtD.

The submitted dissertation thesis describes the complex concept of time from the perspective of society and design development. Based on previous research, the concept of time can be subdivided into objective and subjective. Objective time is defined as one of the components of the resulting outcome in the design process (“designing time”). The measurement of time is determined by a mathematical construct that is socially recognized and commonly accepted. Subjective time—the main study objective of the thesis—can be described using sensory perceptions. The perception of time is a phenomenon that is subjectively felt by a human and can be accurately defined thanks to research in the fields of biology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, etc. The dissertation therefore considers the subjectivity of time as one of the features of design that should be involved in the design process (“designing with time”). The main result of the dissertation research is a scheme describing the relational connections of subjective time and sensory perceptions. The scheme is subsequently developed into an inspirational tool for designers and creators.