Tag Archives: marinmusem

NODEM 2014: Nordic Digital Excellence in Museums Conference

In December 2014, I attended the NODEM 2014 conference in Warsaw, Poland to present a project I have been collaborating on with US and Swedish researchers at the Swedish Naval Museum (Marinmuseum) in Karlskrona. Focused on creating augmented reality panoramas for the Neptun Submarine exhibition, the project also engages us in a number of research questions about digitally-enhanced museum spaces and heritage sites. The poster (below) has more info about the project, including our basic goals and more information about my collaborators. (Or you can download a pdf version of the poster : Poster-NODEM)

Neptun Project Poster

Neptun Project Poster

The conference itself was centred on the topic of “Engaging Spaces: Interpretation, Design, and Digital Strategies” and so the participants presented a lot of very interesting work responding to the new ways that cultural heritage and museums can use digital technologies to re-imagine, redesign, and reflect on: methods for enhancing user-expereriences beyond traditional exhibition practices; developing new digital archiving and preservation practices; and exploring issues about authority and authenticity with collaborative and participatory practices that use non-experts as integral aspects of design and content production for digital heritage objects.

Be Democracy Exhibition Still

The “sphere of communication” comprised of twitter messages at the centre of the BeDemocracy exhibition, Nobel Peace Center, Norway.

I was particularly interested in a  presentation of an exhibition called “BeDemocracy” at the Nobel Peace Center in Norway that used social media both as a content-generator “outside” the exhibition space, as well as a method to influence the design of the exhibition itself and the participation of its visitors. Designed by Expology, the exhibition explored how social media can influence and engage debates about democracy through personalised digital self-expression (via twitter, and blogging for example). The exhibition encouraged an online debate and then included the messages and online content as part of the display encased within a global sphere at the exhibition center. Visitors could enter the sphere, read the messages and then, via use of Kinect, a gesture-recognition software, “like” messages using a thumbs-up hand motion that recorded their votes. I loved the iterative design principles that kept the exhibition dynamic and encouraged thoughtful, social, and physicalised participation about serious topics. I have written elsewhere, in Digital Humanities Quarterly, for example, about how social media (or ME-dia) can be used for exactly these kinds of embodied, personal cultural expressions.

Pipe Cleaner Message Gallery, BeDemocracy Exhibition, Nobel Peace centre, Norway

Pipe Cleaner Message Gallery, BeDemocracy Exhibition, Nobel Peace Center, Norway

The playful use of more “old-school” methods that allowed visitors to leave “pipe-cleaner messages” (where the materials were bent and formed to make shapes and words) was a reminder of the way that technologically produced interaction, can exist alongside other innovative more material-making and expression. It was an evocative and simple mode to show “process” and tactile responsiveness in other mediated ways. According to the presenter at NODEM, visitors would spend a long time in the gallery after the exhibition to “craft” their hand-made messages. I love the results!

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Designing Digital Heritage: A Seminar for Network Building

neptun submarine

A technician inside the torpedo tube of the Neptun Submarine (Marinmuseum, Karlskrona). I am currently working with collaborators to create an Augmented Reality experience for visitors inside the submarine to enhance their exhibition experience. But we have other ways to gain entry… (photo credit: Erling Klintefors, Marinmuseum)

I recently received funding (with my colleague Lupita Alvarez) from my university (The University of Skövde) to help establish an International network for educational programs and research about cultural heritage and game technologies. Increasingly digital technologies are incorporated within museums and cultural heritage sites to enhance visitor experiences beyond traditional exhibition design. Our goal is to explore ways that we can build resources and explore interdisciplinary pedagogical strategies and support avenues for research, from undergraduate education through senior research projects, to critically engage in the development of digitally-enhanced cultural heritage experiences.

Digital Heritage Seminar Poster

Seminar Poster

To this end, we begin in the fall 2014 with a seminar called “Designing Digital Heritage” hosted by my university and organised by Lupita and I. We have invited professionals in a variety of related fields who will come together to consider how we can strategically align existing curricula at our institutions, find venues for exploration, and develop methods and modes, tools and technologies, and user-experiences to enrich our connections to history and culture.  The aim of this seminar is to provide a first-stage platform for developing an network comprised of cultural heritage and museum specialists, curators, exhibition designers, technology application designers, digital media and game design researchers, and others in related culture media industries to explore opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. It’s an exciting line-up, with keynote speaker Prof. Jay David Bolter from Georgia Institute of Technology and others from academia and industry, and I look forward to presentations and discussions and brainstorming workshops. More information is available on the seminar website and more activities will be forthcoming. (Download seminar poster as a pdf: Digital Heritage Seminar Poster)

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