Class :Interactive Design for Museums

Date :April 2014

Skills :Wireframing, rapid prototyping, user testing

Met Exquisite Corpse

Met Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative project between Sophie Ma and Betty Quinn.

We were given a brief from the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the objective to engage millennials with the Met’s Modern and Contemporary art collection. The Met wanted to create a more dynamic, personal experience through smartphones, while also creating a visitor experience that is educational and inspiring.

Our Inspiration: Selfies and the Exquisite Corpse

While walking around the Modern and Contemporary gallery, we were struck by the different styles in portraiture.

In addition, we observed that taking pictures in the museum was a very common activity. In particular, millennials liked to incorporate themselves into the artwork and take "museum selfies". Though these clever visitors may not consciously realize it, they were carefully analyzing compositions from different artistic mediums.

Keeping selfies in mind, we researched the behaviors of millenials, concentrating on photo taking and sharing behaviors.

Our findings:

  • • 55% of Millennials have posted a “selfie” on a social media site (Pew Research Center).
  • • The average Instagram user spends 257 minutes on Instagram per month (Wall Street Journal)
  • • 34% of millennials use Instagram (The Intelligence Group)
  • • City with the 2nd most selfies on Instagram: New York, NY (Time)

We thought that "museum selfies" were a memorable way for millennials to engage with the artwork, whether that be content-wise, composition-wise, artistically or emotionally. So we came up with the idea of creating an exquisite corpse app for the tech-savvy millennial.

Exquisite corpse originally was a collaborative game invented by the Surrealists in the 1920’s. Each artist drew part of a figure’s body, folded the paper and passed it to the next artist, who didn't know what the previous artist drew. This process would continue until the figure is complete. When the artists unfolded the paper, there was usually a very strange, unexpected result.

The app

Our app consisted of three main sections -- Create, My Gallery and Explore.

Loading page

The Loading page's background changes to different modern and contemporary artworks currently on display at the Met.

Create page

The app's default homepage is the Create page. The user can add their images to each of the three sections by tapping the "+" icon.

After tapping the "+" icon, the user is presented with three options to add their images: add from camera roll, add from the Met's collection, or generate a random image from the Met's collection.

The user can scale, rotate and move the image to align them. If they want to change the picture after choosing it, the uder can tap the section again and the adding options reappear.

After the user is finished choosing their three imaegs, the share button appears. They can share it to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook of save it to their camera roll. The hashtag #metExquisiteCorpse and #metMuseum appears automatically on their social media posts.

Explore page

There are three categories on the Explore page: Met staff pick, most popular and newest creations. We chose these groupings because they are the most rewarding caregories that encourage users to upload their creations, as well as browse.


Ultimately, our goal was to increase the presence of the Met's collection on social media through millennials. Millennials are the most active users on photo sharing sites and we noticed that majority of visitors at the museum took pictures with their smartphones. This application gives millennials the opportunity to learn and creatively engage with modern and contemporary art, while also appealing to their proclivity of sharing experiences on social media.

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