Nanna Holdgaard

MSc in Digital Design and Communication (renamed Digital Design and Interactive Technologies). Postdoc at the IT University of Copenhagen.

WHO?

Nanna, almost 35 years old. I grew up in Frederikssund and now live in Copenhagen. When I'm not at ITU, I'm at home with my two boys, who are 6 and 3 years old. I spend a lot of time in museums, often with my kids. I have always been a big fan of museums – it’s a both private and professional passion.

WHERE?

As a postdoc at ITU, I’m a member of the research group Culture & Communication. A postdoc is a research position. I’m doing a three-year project in collaboration with a museum called Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. My grandmother finds it a bit hard to understand what I do. To her, a researcher is someone who wears a lab coat. My job mostly takes place in front of the computer, both at the university and at the museum. I’m also fortunate enough to spend time working with museum staff on the collections.

WHAT?

My research is about discovering the potential of digital media in the context of a museum. For a long time, digital media has been hailed as something that heightens the museum experience. I’m examining when and how IT enhances cultural experiences. Incorporating screens into an exhibition is great, but if people only see the screen and not the exhibits, we haven’t really accomplished anything.

WHY?

Being a researcher was never a goal for me. Largely, curiosity has guided my choices. As an undergrad, I did an internship in the communications department at the National Gallery of Denmark. This was where I discovered that you can create new types of stories using digital media. So at ITU, I worked with museum communication and target audience analysis whenever I could. I really enjoyed the opportunity to do interdisciplinary work and do projects in the real world.

When I finished my master's degree, I wasn’t done investigating museums, so I decided to pursue a PhD. When I had finished my PhD, there were still unanswered questions, I had to examine. I’m very much driven by my inquisitiveness.

BEST ADVICE

Take advantage of the fact that there is a very short distance between students and researchers at ITU. There are many opportunities to get involved in exciting research projects in connection with courses and your thesis.