Audio-based narratives for the trenches of World War I : intertwining stories, places and interaction for an evocative experience

MARSHALL, Mark, PETRELLI, Daniela, DULAKE, Nick, NOT, Elena, MARCHESONI, Michele, TRENTI, Elisa and PISETTI, Anna (2015). Audio-based narratives for the trenches of World War I : intertwining stories, places and interaction for an evocative experience. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 85, 27-39.

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We report in detail the co-design, setup and evaluation of a technological intervention for a complex outdoor heritage site: a World War I fortified camp and trenches located in the natural setting of the Italian Alps. Sound was used as the only means of content delivery as it was considered particularly effective in engaging visitors at an emotional level and had the potential to enhance the physical experience of being at an historical place. The implemented prototype is visitor-aware personalised multi-point auditory narrative system that automatically plays sounds and stories depending on a combination of features such as physical location, visitor proximity and visitor preferences. The curators created for the trail multiple narratives to capture the different voices of the War. The stories are all personal accounts (as opposed to objective and detached reporting of the facts); they were designed to trigger empathy and understanding while leaving the visitors free to interpret the content and the place on the bases of their own understanding and sensitivity. The result is an evocative embodied experience that does not describe the place in a traditional sense, but leaves its interpretation open. It takes visitors beyond the traditional view of heritage as a source of information toward a sensorial experience of feeling the past. A prototype was set up and tested with a group of volunteers showing that a design that carefully combines content design, sound design, tangible and embodied interaction can bring archaeological remains, with very little to see, back to file.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Computing
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Mark Marshall
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 15:32
Last Modified: 12 May 2018 22:38

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