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Stefania Zardini Lacedelli

University of Leicester

Thesis title:

The Museum as a Platform for Sound Culture

The purpose of my research is to explore the museum as a platform for sound culture. I investigate the role that sound culture could have in the transformation of museum conceptualization in the post-digital age, a moment when digitality is becoming increasingly assimilated as an integral part of some organizational structures and development. In particular, I assume that sound culture and the contemporary sonic practices can be a catalyst for the adoption of a new platform model that is acting on museums as both metaphor, organizational structure and business model. This investigation addresses two main different challenges that contemporary museums are facing: (1) the embrace of sound culture, a broad concept that include sonic elements in the collection and in the design of cultural experiences, and that has always been underrepresented in a predominantly visual and material system; (2) the evolution of museum conceptualization, that started to change with the digital revolution and the emergence of the participatory turn and, in a post-digital context, is ready to mature into a new paradigm around the model of ‘platform’. Both issues require the museum to change not only at practical level – introducing new spaces, practices, processes of cultural production – but also at ontological level – introducing a rethinking of what museums are, why they exist and how they conceive heritage. The traditional museum conceptualization – a physical institution devoted to the collection and display of objects of material culture – struggles both to accomodate sound culture and to embrace the post-digital age. The aim of the research is to demonstrate how platform can be not only the new paradigm of the 21stcentury museum, but also the form by which it can evolve in a place for sound – and not only visual – culture.

Research Area



Public Engagement & Impact

  • Research placement at the Science Museum Group (March - September 2020) aimed to to explore the opportunities of online platforms in discovering new perspectives around the role of sound in the museum collections. Within the placement, I designed the online campaign #SonicFriday that invited users to share their stories and memories around Sound Technologies. 
  • Research coordinator of Museums of the Dolomites’, a two-year research project (February 2019 - November 2020) promoted by the Dolomites UNESCO Foundation aimed to explore the use of digital platforms in the development of a museum community. Within this project, I conducted semi-structured interviews, focus groups, workshops, design sessions that involved 50 museum professionals in the creation of an online campaign and a related digital exhibition.
  • Teaching assistant in the Module 'Engaging Audiences' of the Museum Studies course at the School of Museum Studies. Within this module, I delivered the lecture 'Exploring Sound Culture in the Post-Digital Museum', I led a workshop on Sound Exhibition and I was the design mentor for the development of the interactive audio tour ListenUp!Leicester, that guides to discover all the groups installations across the campus using a geo-localized app, as part of the Exhibition installed at the School of Museum Studies.
  • Teacher Coordinator of the Course “Museums and new digital cultures” promoted by the Veneto Region (December 2017-December 2018). The aim of the course was to guide cultural organizations in the adoption of new digital practices and in the development of digital skills and digital thinking throughout all levels of the organization: from top management and curatorial teams to communication and educational departments. Throughout the course, I guided 120 museum professionals from 34 cultural organizations in creating new multimedia tours on the izi.TRAVEL app, a theatrical radioguide in collaboration with the Theatre Production Center La Piccionaia, virtual exhibitions and online collections.
  • Researcher Collaborator at the Department of Management, University of Venice for a 6-months research project (January-June 2018) aimed to develop a digital and network strategy for the Civic Museums in Treviso. Within this project, I founded the 'Ambassadors' community: a group of students, researchers, young volunteers of the museums that, through the use of digital platforms, open new virtual doors to interact with museums' collection.
  • I am the Dolomites Ambassador of Invasioni Digitali, a cultural movement aimed to promote the digital involvement of public and the development of new participatory forms of cultural narratives all over the world. In this role, I have been the consultant of a group of museums and cultural institution in the ideation of 25 digital participatory activities in the Dolomites area (the events are described and collected on the website of the Virtual Museum of Dolomites).

In 2019 I received the M3C Cultural Engagement Award that recognised the impact of my research on the museum sector.

Other Research Interests

The role of digital platforms in the museum evolution 


President and co-founder of DOLOM.IT, a participatory virtual museum that involved more than 1000 participants and 50 cultural institutions in the creation of new digital heritage dedicated to the Dolomites landscape.

Co-founder of ADOMultimedia Heritage, a lab aimed to foster innovation in the museum field by developing new tools to experience cultural heritage in the digital age.

Research collaborator of Digital Cultural Heritage School.

Research collaborator of the interdisciplinary lab Mile, Museums and Innovaton in Language Education.

External member of m.a.c.lab – the laboratory of Management of Arts and Culture at Ca’ Foscari University - Department of Management.