Did you ever have to choose between prospective conference hosts? I don’t remember ever seeing criteria for choosing potential conference hosts but a few times I have been asked to choose or rank applications and from memory I try to mark them against criteria like the one below. Happy change or replace this if someone has a better system well laid out somewhere. Oh and I have not weighted the criteria against each other but that could be done with some contextual information.
- Venue capacity and character (size of plenary room, facilities, exhibition capacity, access to transport)
- Organizational competence
- Local heritage, tours and ambience
- Daily costs and access to venue, city and country (for majority of attendees)
- Western/non-western/ethnic balance
- Links to related institutes/institutional support
- Ability to bring in students, communities, related events and organizations
- Local expertise in heritage
- Ability to bring in keynote speakers and sponsors
Paper accepted for Researching Digital Cultural Heritage – International Conference, Manchester UK, Dates: 30/11-1/12/2017 twitter #digheritage17
Keywords:Digitally enabled collaborative, participatory and reflexive approaches in cultural heritage design, research and practice.
If conveying cultural significance is a central aim of virtual heritage projects, can they convey cultural significance effectively without an understanding of the contextual role of cultural knowledge? In this talk I will argue this is very difficult, but even populating virtual environments with others (human-guided or computer-scripted), there are still vital, missing ingredients.
In virtual heritage projects with enough computational power and sophistication to feature intelligent agents, they are primarily used as guides (Bogdanovych et al. 2009). They lead players to important landmarks, or perhaps act as historical guides (revealing past events, conveying situationally appropriate behaviour). Intelligent agents are usually designed for limited forms of conversation and typically help convey social presence rather than cultural presence. For an enhanced “sense of inhabited place”, engaging narrative- related elements, or embodiment, a cultural agent recognizes, adds to, or transmits physically embedded and embodied aspects of culture. They could provide a sense of cultural presence, becoming Aware-Of-Not-Quite-Being-‘There’.
Cultural agents would not be mere conversational agents if they were able to:
- Automatically select correct cultural behaviours given specific events or situations.
- Recognize in/correct cultural behaviours given specific events, locations, or situations.
- Transmit cultural knowledge.
- Modify, create, or command artefacts that become cultural knowledge.
To fulfil the above criteria, cultural agents would be culturally constrained. Not just socially constrained; their actions and beliefs would be dependent on role, space, and time. They could understand and point out right from wrong in terms of culturally specific behaviour and understand the history and possibly also the future trajectory of specific cultural movements. In this talk I will discuss three scenarios for cultural agents, their relationship to roles and rituals, and two more missing ingredients. The result? A more situated, reflexive appreciation of cultural significance via virtual heritage.
I am finishing a chapter (Chapter 3: ‘Architected’ Places) for my own book on Virtual Places, but the structural arc has escaped me until now. It will be polemical and controversial so I need to rewrite it to show that I realize this, there will be gaps and generalizations.
The basic premises are:
- Architectural theory is essentialist.
- Architectural tools are instrumentalist, architects don’t work on or near the site, as they need specialist tools connected to databases not to experiences.
- Architectural media is loath to include people and architectural spaces don’t work as places without people (Marseilles, by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, architectural masterpieces tend to be pavilions).
- Architects are not trained in user experience design and evaluation.
- Nor are architects trained in interactive media, their tools (see argument 2) are instrumentalist and passive.
- Traditional architectural craft is embodied, sited, takes time and records care. This is less and less the case.
- So applying theories of architecture, or practices of architectural design to interactive digital media in order to create virtual places, may well leave some gaps. How to resolve these in the design of virtual places? Corruption? Fancy theory? Post modernism? No, through embodiment, multimodality, role-play (and thematic affordances), allowing user-infill, environmental change to affect the design environment, and digital personalized patinas, materials that show the effect of time, wear and care.