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ARchive: The Living Museum

Mar 26, 2019

The following article was written by Qian Pan, Kristina Stevens & Siyu Xiao.

Historical sites and museums are currently facing a significant challenge in that they are losing appeal to the largest generation of the USA, the millennial. As a multi-disciplinary design firm, we are poised to take advantage of our diverse in-house capabilities to help. During our in-house hackathon, our team proposed that curators of historical attractions develop a mobile app to provide millennials an enhanced interactive experience which seamlessly connects the digital world with a physical site through AR technology.

In order to help us to understand our target population, the millennial generation, we have conducted over 120 surveys across our offices in Canada and the US. We asked questions in relation to travelling habits and experiences with AR products. The data confirmed our assumptions and informed our solutions. From the insights we learned that the Tech Savvy generation have a variety of travelling habits and mainly engage new places by taking photos and selfies. We need to develop a multi-functional product, which is simple and light to load and use while engaging users with interactive experiences.

We established a user persona, Laura Kim, a typical millennial who helps us better understand what experience we should provide for our user.

After initial research and study, we established our product vision. We propose using AR technology to help users better navigate to historic sites, learn history in real time, and enjoy an affordable experience. To provide the most seamless experience possible, the product would be developed under a progressive web application platform.


We developed high-fidelity prototype to materialize our idea. Key features include AR navigation, trip planner, historic image/ video overlays, AR interactive elements, gamified reward system and social media integration.

Let us take you on Laura’s journey with ARchive!  Collaboration with local small business owners such as coffee shops will help reach potential users on the ground and help create a truly choose-your-own-adventure style experience.


Kristina Stevens – Associate, Boston
Qian Pan – Senior Landscape Architect, Boston
Siyu Xiao – Senior Landscape Designer, Boston
June Park – Systems Consultant, Calgary
Bo Lu – Landscape Designer/Urban Designer, Toronto