This day symposium held on 28th May 2014 and run by the European Centre for Cultural Exploration and the Department of Sociology was dedicated to the following questions: How can we understand audience responses to cultural forms, performances, exhibitions and heritage sites? What kinds of insights can different methodological approaches provide?  Are there ways of measuring and evaluating the impact of cultural performances and forms on audiences?


It brought together leading academics and practitioners in different methods of understanding audiences. These include space syntax, ethnography, questionnaires, interviews and cultural profiling, and the use of digital metadata, and audience eye-tracking and neuro-imaging technologies. To see powerpoints and recordings of the talks, click on the tabs above.


Bill Hillier (Space Syntax Laboratory and Barlett School of Architecture, University College London): Space syntax, museum design and visitor behaviour

Laurie Hanquinet (ECCE and Department of Sociology, University of York): The spatial configurations of cultural capital: the example of art museum visitors

Katia Dauchot (Matrice Memory Project, Pres Hesam, Paris): Representing History in a Memorial Museum: what do visitors get out of it?

Mads Daugbjerg (Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University): Understanding Audiencing: ethnographic insights from the heritage sector

David Beer (Sociology and ECCE): Exploring the classificatory imagination in culture: audiences and digital by-product data

Stephanie E.Pitts and Katy Robinson (Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre and Department of Music, University of Sheffield): First impressions: audience exchange in opera, jazz and chamber music 

The video of the discussion is also available here.

Organisers: Sharon Macdonald (ECCE and Sociology); Katiana Le Mentec (Braudel Postdoctoral Fellow, ECCE)