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Kigali Genocide Memorial works with international designers to enhance visitor experience

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A group of expert designers, architects and creative thinkers have visited Rwanda for a weeklong workshop at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The team from ‘UX For Good’ conducted interactive workshops with survivors, government representatives as well as memorial staff to discuss how to enhance the visitor experience. The workshops also addressed how to make the memorial even more of a home for survivors and improve remembrance and learning facilities.

UX For Good is a non-profit collective of top designers from around the world who come together to solve pressing and complex social challenges. ‘UX’ stands for ‘user experience’.

The UX For Good team first visited Rwanda a year ago and conducted over 500 hours of research to understand the experience of visitors and others when they interact with the memorial – either by visiting, being part of an education programme or online. Their research resulted in the creation of a new user experience model called the ‘Inzovu Curve’.

The Inzovu Curve, named after the Kinyarwanda word for ‘elephant’, maps the ideal transformative journey and experience of a person visiting a memorial or museum. Since its creation at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the model has been used to advise museums and memorials around the world on how to visitor-centred experiences.

“Last year while visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, we realised that the journey of a visitor ended with a strong emotion – pain,” said Jason Ulaszek, founder of UX For Good. “In creating the Inzovu Curve, we aim to design an experience which offers visitors the chance to reflect, experience a sense of hope, and then be inspired to take meaningful action in their communities.”

During the most recent visit, staff at the memorial worked with the designers to come up with ideas on how to create an experience that tells the reality of the Genocide against the Tutsi, as well as the incredible stories of personal and community resilience that have characterised Rwanda’s renewal over the last twenty-one years.

“This memorial was not created to be static – it is a place of living souls and many Rwandans call it home. By working with the UX For Good team, we will enhance the experience of visitors. We also want the memorial to be a place where survivors feel especially comforted when they visit and so will introduce a number of improvements to support them as they remember their loved ones,” said Yves Kamuronsi, Aegis Trust Country Director.

Since 2014, the Kigali Genocide Memorial has undergone significant changes – including the creation of a Children’s’ Memorial, peace education classrooms, an amphitheatre and a social enterprise café that supports the work of the memorial. The exhibitions contained within the memorial have also been updated to reflect the country’s journey of peace building and reconciliation.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial opened in 2014 and is managed on behalf of the Government of Rwanda by Aegis Trust, a genocide and mass atrocity prevention organisation. The memorial organises a number of remembrance and education programmes that aim to create behaviour change for a more peaceful world.

Learn more about the work of the memorial by visiting our Facebook page.

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