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Tuesday, December 3 • 11:00am - 11:15am
Designing Emergent Digital Cultural Heritage

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Innovations in digital cultural communication for museums demand us to develop appropriate methods for participation in curatorial processes, as well as to rethink the role of audiences inside exhibitions. Moreover, hybrid and pervasive digital technologies prompts us to rethink relations between heritage and technology to include temporal and imaginative aspects of cultural heritage inside as well as outside the museum institutions.

I present experiences from an interactive exhibition experiment, Digital Natives, in which we combined principles and methods from anthropology, and Scandinavian participatory design, with issues of contemporary digital culture to explore possibilities for co-creating dialogic forms of digital heritage. I elaborate on the collaborative design process; involving teenagers, anthropologists, interaction designers and programmers through the course of eight months, and its consequences upon establishing the design space, and negotiating issues and imaginations of contemporary digital cultural heritage.

The project shows that the framing of the participatory design process and the final exhibition outcome are closely interlinked, and have profound consequences for creating emergent hybrid spaces and ecologies for dialogue and interaction between everyday practices of audiences, and heritage issues in the museum exhibition

Exploring the potentials for connecting audiences’ everyday cultures to issues of heritage inside the museum in this way, shifts the common focus from technologies as heritage communication, to a view on sites of cultural production and transformation through which living and emergent forms of cultural heritage can be created through dialogic processes of ‘worldmaking’. More profoundly, the research provides promising results towards rethinking technology in museums, not as heritage communication of the past inside the museum, but as an imaginative and hybrid material for constructing emergent cultural futures, based on the past and present.    


Rachel Smith

Rachel Charlotte Smith, PhD is a design anthropologist at the Centre for Participatory IT, at Aarhus University, Denmark. She studies how digital technologies can provide new ways of engaging audiences in cultural heritage communication, from within the field of cultural anthropology... Read More →

Tuesday December 3, 2013 11:00am - 11:15am PST
Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Hera+Athena Guldgränd 8 Box 15270, Stockholm, 10465, Sweden

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