Franziska Mucha

Areas of Research

Work Package 1 “Connectivities built by institutions”
PhD Project 2


Co-creative events for engagement with digital cultural heritage collections


More and more cultural heritage institutions digitise their collections aiming to unlock potentials of accessibility, usefulness, and meaning to a new variety of users. However, there is a lack of robust knowledge about what exactly enables successful engagement with digital collections. This thesis aims to narrow this gap by investigating the relationships of three stakeholder groups participating in co-creative use of collections: museum practitioners, active users, and Open GLAM community members.

It focuses on three main research questions:

• What are the challenges and benefits of co-creative events for these stakeholders?
• How do these stakeholders collaborate and what are the factors impacting their collaboration?
• What is the role of digital reuse and creative practice in engaging users with cultural heritage collections?

These questions are examined in three co-creative events: a hackathon about discomforting objects on display at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Scotland; a Coding da Vinci hackathon with openly licensed digital cultural collections in Dortmund, Germany; and a workshop for remixing museum objects with digital tools at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin, Germany. The methodology focuses on participants’ collaborative and creative processes and combines ethnographic methods with practice research, using participant observation, creative workshops, interviews, and surveys. The research provides multi-faceted insights into reusing digital collections and highlights the crucial role of social motivations, media practices, and institutional contexts for engagement. The findings suggest that, in order to unfold the social potential of collections, digitisation needs to be complemented with socio-affective spaces in which diverse participants can develop relationships, negotiate meanings, and explore uses of cultural heritage. The thesis thus outlines practice-oriented approaches for effectively supporting these processes. It forms part of the POEM European Training Network on participatory memory practices funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme.




Academic Qualifications

Since Oct 2018
PhD Candidate at the School of Humanities – Information Studies, University of Glasgow, UK

Diploma degree in Cultural Studies and Aesthetical Communication, University of Hildesheim Foundation, Germany (German equivalent to combined Bachelor+Master Study)

Major: Literature and Media, Minor: Fine Arts and Politics

Scholarship holder Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation

Jun 2010-Jun 2011
Erasmus Student at NTNU Trondheim, Norway

Work Experience

Mar 2016-Sep 2018 
Curator for Digital Museum Practice, Historical Museum Frankfurt, Germany

Oct 2015-Feb 2016
Freelance Curator, Editor of urban district portraits

Oct 2013-Sep 2015
Trainee (Volontariat), Historical Museum Frankfurt, Germany

Project Manager, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria

Research Interests

  • Crowdsourcing and community-sourcing: co-creative generation of content and knowledge in memory work
  • Participatory museum practices: patterns of engagements and levels of participation – collaborative, cooperative and co-creative framework
  • Building connectivities in museums: outreach and community-building, relationship management and changing roles from curators to moderators
  • Digital museum practices: open culture, born-digital objects, user-centred-design, digital strategy


Mucha, F./ Oswald, K.(2021, in publication). Partizipationsorientierte Wissensgenerierung und Citizen Science im Museum. In: Henning Mohr/Diana Modarressi-Tehrani (eds.). Museen der Zukunft. Trends und Herausforderungen eines innovationsorientierten Kulturmanagements. Bielefeld, Transkript-Verlag.

Mucha, F./ Boersma, S./ Chahine, A./ Zwart, I. (2020, in publication).The Archive of Forgotten Memories: A Participatory Process of Reflexivity. In: What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europe. Berlin, TBD.

Mucha, F./ Kist, C./  (2020, in publication). Digitally enabled participation in exhibitions: empowering social platforms. In: Exponat – Raum – Interaktion. Perspektiven für das Kuratieren digitaler Ausstellungen. Göttingen, Vandenhoek & Ruprecht.

Mucha, F./ Clark, H.-L./ Gambell, S./ MacLean, R./ Rankin, M./ Rowan, R. (2019). Global History Hackathon Playbook Version 1.1: Practical Guidance for Hosting a Hackathon for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Glasgow, University of Glasgow.

Mucha, F. City Lab Digital – a Participative Platform for Collecting.

Mucha, F. Stadtlabor Digital – Eine Partizipative Sammlungsplattform. In: Bienert, Andreas et al. (Hrsg.) Konferenzband EVA Berlin 2016. Elektronische Medien & Kunst, Kultur und Historie: 23. Berliner Veranstaltung der internationalen EVA-Serie Electronic Media and Visual Arts, Heidelberg:, 2017 (2016) (EVA Berlin, Band 23).

Interviews, Blogs & Podcasts

Mucha, F. (2020). Museums and the practice of digital co-creation. In: [Audio-Podcast].

Recent Conferences and Workshop Presentations

Mucha, F./ Theocharidou, M./ Widmaier, L./ Tzouganatou, A.: “Participatory memory practices: Human-centred approaches t digital heritage collections” at the digital 5th Biennial Conference “ACHS 2020 FUTURES” of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS), 26-30. Aug. 2020.

Mucha, F./ Zwart, I./ Boersma, S.: POEM One Stop Shop “Digital Archives of Forgotten Memories (OSS)” at the 20th anniversary conference “What’s Missing? Collecting and Exhibiting Europa, Museum of European Cultures (SPK), Berlin, 25. June 2019.

Mucha, F.: Research outline at “Postdigital Day”, University of Glasgow, UK, 26. April 2019.

Mucha, F.: Opening Conference POEM (Horizon 2020), Hamburg, 13-14. Dec. 2018.

Mucha, F.: “User-zentriert und born-digital – der digitale Kulturwandel im Museum” at the symposium “Das digitale Objekt”, Deutsches Museum, München, 5. Dec. 2018.

Mucha, F.: “Use the Museum. Participatory Memory Practices” at the workshop “Daring Participation!” of the H2020 REACH project, 20. Nov. 2018.

Mucha, F.: „What is Digital Museum Practice? How Museums Can Connect with Digital Culture”, paper delivered at Museum-And-Internet conference. (Original title: “Was ist digitale Museumspraxis? Wie Museen an die Kultur der Digitalität anknüpfen können“ Präsentation bei der MAI-Tagung, Potsdam, Germany (14.5.2018).)

Mucha, F.: „Digital Media: between interaction, engagement and participation. Module I: museum educational conditions, contexts and concepts”, lecture and workshop at Bundesakademie Wolfenbüttel. (Original title: „Digitale Medien: Zwischen Interaktion, Teilhabe und Partizipation. Modul I: Museumspädagogische Bedingungen, Kontexte und Konzepte”, Vortrag und Workshop in der Bundesakademie Wolfenbüttel, Wolfenbüttel, Germany (8.-10.3.2018).)

Mucha, F.: „Digital Museum Practice: User First!”, paper delivered at autumn meeting of Deutscher Museumsbund Public Relations working group. (Original title: „Digitale Museumspraxis: User First!“ Präsentation auf der Herbsttagung des DMB Arbeitskreis Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Frankfurt, Germany (23.11.2017).)


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Coordination and Project Management

University of Hamburg
c/o: Institute for Anthropological Studies in Culture and History
Grindelallee 46 | postbox: H8 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany

+49 (0)40 42838-9940 
POEM Uni Hamburg

Concepts, strategies and media infrastructures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 764859.