Dr Woofmeister is a character born during COVID lockdown.
He is an extension of the Go Walkeez project of taking a toy dog for a museum selfie (or ‘sniffie’) walk at a time when physical museum visits were pretty much impossible. To bridge the use of Go Walkeez dogs in the real world to something relatable in the digital world, Dr Woofmeister was created to bring playful learning experience in the home that can then be applied later in real museum spaces.
The project forms a key practice element of my PhD on interaction design in museums.
My main interests were to use design as a way to:
- Create a holistic family learning experience that values family as a collective unit, rather than children as prioritized audience (parents need to be engaged to actively learn, not actively play on their phones!)
- Bridge at-home remote learning with in-museum physical learning
- Find ways of defining hybrid family learning that gives equal agency to both adults and children
Taking an experimental approach, I created a learning suite consisting of Dr Woofmeister video, age-appropriate printable resources (a pocket zine for adults and a flap book for children), and a follow-up roleplaying game to reinforce the lesson given by Dr Woofmeister in the video. In it, he talks about using a method called the WOOF technique, which uses a mnemonic device to break down the art viewing experience into 4 steps:
- W-Wow (find art that inspires you)
- O-Observe (look closely)
- O-Out loud (say what you think out loud, no right or wrong, just let it flow out)
- F-Feel (reflect and enjoy how the art makes you feel)
Downloadable printables for adults and children are available to spend time at the table, talk about the video lesson while cutting and making age appropriate learning resources.
WOOF technique review resource for adults in the form of a pocket zine (above), which is quick to make and can be read while helping (if needed) children make their WOOF review flap book (below)