Telling stories, revealing meanings
Whatever the medium – a panel, a guided walk, an audio trail – words lie at the heart of successful interpretation.
Interpretation is a special form of communication. It’s not just the relaying of information, or the ordering of dry facts. It’s about provoking people’s interest, using humour, connecting to people’s experience and telling stories. Writing engaging, entertaining titles and text is therefore a specialist skill.
Clarity’s whole approach to interpretation, particularly when it comes to writing, is founded on the principles set out by the father of modern interpretation, Freeman Tilden:
Any interpretation that does not relate what is being displayed to the visitor will be sterile.
Interpretation is not information. Interpretation is revelation based on information.
Interpretation is an art, which combines many arts.
The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.
Interpretation should aim to present a whole rather than a part.
– TILDEN F. (1957) Interpreting Our Heritage
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