Project Type: <span>Audience Development</span>

Natural History Museum

A major research and consultation project working with curatorial and Learning teams to develop a new Children’s Gallery, a global international education initiative, onsite programming and online activities. We worked alongside the teams onsite on remotely to establish the guiding principles for the project, develop key interpretive themes and programming which engages young people with caring for and understanding their immediate natural environments and ecosystems as well as those globally.

The research explored how to:

  • Optimise the experience of the new Children’s Gallery, through activities on themes of Wild Voices, connecting with animals’ lives in different habitats.
  • Lift barriers of access to schools, families and groups with intersecting factors of disadvantage or SENDs, by consulting them, travelling to settings with activities, and easing their experience of the NHM as a whole.
  • Inspire and acknowledge young children as imaginative friends of the natural world, and provide templates for partners in the GEI, through online resources for digital and real-world play and nature connection.
  • Develop skills of adults (including NHM staff and volunteers) to reconnect with nature and support children through a ’School of Nature Play’.
  • To do action research as the activities are developed, to serve the global initiatve with insights.

Milton Keynes Young Creatives

An on-going three year evaluation of a collaboration between Milton Keynes College, local schools, MK Gallery and Arts and Heritage Alliance MK capturing the impact of implementing a creative curriculum for students and developing career opportunities for NEETs.

This involved the development of a Story of Change with the stakeholders leading to the creation of an evaluation framework in order to focus a diverse set of ambitions and impacts. We are mentoring the young people in the programme to take control of the evaluation process and supporting each cohort in cascading this to new participants. The programme recently moved from in-person to online and so the data collection approach has moved to online observation of sessions, interviews and online surveys.

GLAM Oxford Non-Visitor Research

Working with the museums, libraries and gardens which make up the GLAM Oxford group, we undertook research and consultancy to help them better plan for how they reach local non-visiting audiences.

Through focus groups, online surveys and telephone interviews, local people and organisations from across Oxford contributed to us building a picture of the barriers to cultural engagement in the city.

We created actionable steps for the venues individually and as a group to help them build a strategy which opens the door for them to serve their local communities and audiences.

Museum of London – Deep Time

Flow were commissioned to test the concept for Deep Time, a space within the new Museum of London site at Smithfield Market which
will invite visitors to experience the magic of the Museum store.

This space will include a working store, styled to highlight the enormity of the collection, and a digital portal into the museum’s other stores. Visitors will be able to explore the collection in a number of ways, physically and virtually, and through this the histories contained within them.

Key to the concept is a sense of discovery and play. Adults and families will be invited into a space which is usually set for Key Stage 2 school groups, so it is important that it is designed to cater for all.

Our research tested with key audience groups how people can connect with the space and its content on a physical, emotional, and
intellectual level, ensuring that it is accessible to a range of audiences. Through workshops and site visits with families and young “Experience Seekers”, we tested object handling approaches and looked at how groups interacted with working museum storage spaces.


A report, presentation and set of recommendations was produced to inform the design brief and curatorial approach within the gallery.


Scarborough Museums Trust

Scarborough Museums Trust is formed of the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend House. Working across Collections, Exhibitions and Curatorial Flow helped build a Story of Change for the Trust to align their ambitions and identify their impacts. From this we created an audience development strategy and evaluation tools which will evidence and provide guidance as they work towards the future.

Flow is also supporting the Futurelab exhibition which is bringing three contemporary practitioners into the Art Gallery to re-imagine and explore what the Trust’s spaces can do for the people of the town.