The project explores how digital heritage performance, using Mixed Reality technologies, can aid heritage sites.
- Dr Mariza Dima : Senior Lecturer Brunel University
- Dr Damon Daylamani-Zad : Senior Lecturer Brunel University
5:00pm - Presentation
6:30pm - Finish
The heritage industry has been struggling with the legacy of colonialism in their organisations for decades, however, it has only recently become a priority for curators and programmers to actively challenge colonial power structures embedded in heritage sites. Traditionally museum and heritage site narratives were designed to curate historical events through a particular lens, often fraught with colonial and empirical power structures.
At the same time, UK and US based heritage organisations have raised concern over outdated exhibition styles, looking to curatorial innovation to attract more diverse, and younger, audiences. The core research inquiry of this project is to investigate the combination of immersive technologies and immersive performance as tools for decolonisation, that has the potential to attract diverse, 21st century audiences.
The project asks how digital heritage performance, using in particular Mixed Reality technologies, can aid heritage sites in their endeavour to attract new audiences while critically engaging the public with under-represented voices and viewpoints of troubled European and colonial histories. To achieve this goal, the project will design and develop two innovative immersive heritage experiences combining Mixed Reality, in the form of smart glasses, and live performance at heritage sites in the UK and US focusing on under-represented stories from 18th century enslaved and freed slave populations living in London and Deerfield, Massachusetts. The research will further future transatlantic industry innovation by providing heritage workers, and their creative industry partners, with two toolkits to assist the design, implementation, and staff training for the use of MR immersive heritage experiences.
In collaboration with historians, immersive technology designers, digital storytellers, performance makers, cultural heritage researchers, on-site staff, and marginalised communities at each heritage site, the project will explore appropriate design methodologies to create an affective story driven participatory experience that challenges colonial narratives in each site. The aim is to produce a free toolkit to enable and support a sustainable design collaboration between heritage organisations and the creative industries in the process of decolonisation. In parallel, reflective design will examine challenges of such collaborations, in terms of digital scholarship, required skills, and technical and logistic aspects. It will then deliver a free training toolkit for heritage staff and performers, that can help the heritage industry build digital capacity, create sustainable engagement with hybrid technological experiences as tools for decolonising museum sites, teach them innovative theatrical techniques in working with MR platforms, and explore emerging digital and performance skill sets and roles.
About the speakers
Mariza Dima is a Senior Lecturer in Games Design.
Mariza specialises in User Experience and User Interface design for developing meaningful and engaging interactions particularly using mobile, AR and haptic technologies. She has worked between academia and the creative industries as an interaction designer and creative technologist in R&D projects combining engineering and design approaches grounded on theoretical contexts of narrative, affective dramaturgy, and audience/player engagement.
A keen knowledge hunter, she is often inspired by and experiments playfully with perspectives from different fields that could offer a useful alternative lens on user experience design and then turns them into a tool for designing engaging experiences. Her design approach is holistic and experiential where the designer embeds and immerses herself in a collaborative design process and views it as an educational and transformative experience rather than participating in it as a design expert.
She also consults on strategies for devising and developing digital projects and user interactions in the creative industries and has expertise in design methods for collaboration and co-creation.
Damon Daylamani-Zad is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media, focusing on Creative Computing (AI and Games).
Damon specialises in the Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Games, VR, AR and MR in real-world problems. Damon is a Fellow of BCS and HEA. He has worked on various application of creative computing in music generation, graphical asset generation, trainings for decision making in firefighters, multisensory reading interventions, games in neuroscience and accessibility design.
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