The GIFT Box: Helping museums create richer digital experiences for their visitors

The team behind the GIFT project are proud to launch the GIFT Box, a set of free, open-source tools and ways of working to help museums offer richer digital experiences for their visitors. 

Aimed at cultural heritage professionals, academics, students and those who work in the creative industries, The GIFT Box provides a variety of innovative tools for designing, planning, and implementing experiences that combine the digital and physical. 

For those already thinking about creating a digital visitor experience, the design and planning tools offer a way to generate, strengthen and test ideas. They have been developed with and for museums, and include engaging and innovative exercises like the VisitorBox Ideation Cards, a printable card game that helps drives the development of ideas for digital experiences. 

The GIFT Box also contains digital tools which provide the practical resources and inspiration for creating digital experiences in a physical collection. The Gift App encourages visitors to use their smartphone to create a digital gift for someone they care about, while Never Let Me Go encourages two visitors to curate each others’ encounter with a collection. The Gift Wrapper, meanwhile, is an app that visitors can download to make a museum gift more personal by adding a link to content such as music, photos or videos. 

Finally, the GIFT team has worked with 10 prominent museums from Europe and the US – including the Munch Museum in Norway and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – to develop practical ways of working to inspire individuals and institutions to think creatively about their collections and work differently. 

For anyone looking to create engaging experiences for their visitors, see examples of how the latest research can inform the cultural heritage sector, or find inspiration on digital design processes, the GIFT Box is an indispensable tool. Even better, all of the tools are free and can be easily accessed through the GIFT Project website.

Anders Sundnes Løvlie, Co-ordinator of the GIFT Project, IT University of Copenhagen, says, ‘Our aim has been to support museums in creating nuanced and personal experiences, where the experience is more important than the technology. We call these hybrid experiences, because we are interested in using the digital to enhance the experience of the physical museum exhibition. So instead of using virtual reality headsets which shut people inside a digital world, we are using mixed reality technologies.’

Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager at the Brighton Museum – who have made use of the GIFT App in their collection – says, ‘The beauty of GIFT is that it gives you a new pathway through the museum, one that takes you off the beaten track onto a pathway of your own.’

About the GIFT Project

The GIFT project is a Horizon 2020 funded research project which aims to help museums overcome some of the challenges involved in using digital technology to facilitate engaging visitor experiences. The project brings together internationally renowned artists, designers, museum professionals and researchers to help museums create hybrid experiences; experiences that combine the physical and digital to create personal encounters with cultural heritage.

The project includes partners from IT University of Copenhagen, The University of Nottingham, Uppsala University, Blast Theory, NextGame, Culture24 and Europeana Foundation. More information about the project is available on the GIFT project website, and through the GIFT project series published on Europeana Pro in summer 2019. 


For further enquiries about the project please contact:

  • The GIFT project via email at
  • Anders Sundnes Løvlie, Co-ordinator of the GIFT Project, IT University of Copenhagen at 

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