Walking and Designing with Cultural Heritage Volunteers

Authors: Luigina Ciolfi, Daniela Petrelli

Date: February 2016

This paper was published in a special issue of ACM Interactions magazine dedicated to “Communities and Technologies”. Cultural heritage is a variegated field of inquiry for human-computer interaction (HCI), including […]

This paper was published in a special issue of ACM Interactions magazine dedicated to “Communities and Technologies”. Cultural heritage is a variegated field of inquiry for human-computer interaction (HCI), including both efforts to understand how digital technologies mediate human activities in heritage settings and the development of interactives to support the interpretation of heritage. Cultural heritage takes many forms and heritage settings vary greatly, from museums exhibiting traditional “glass case” displays to historic buildings, urban areas, and open-air sites. Heritage is also accessed, presented, and often managed by various local, professional, and/or community groups for the benefit of a larger local community, including different types of visitors, trained staff working in museums, and volunteers and enthusiast groups. Heritage is not only preserved but also lived, discussed, and reproduced by the work and dedication of those who experience, cherish, and communicate it. These communities are thus crucial in shaping the visitor experience of heritage sites, increasingly becoming involved in the ideation of interactive tools for interpretation, education, and access. It is important for HCI researchers to develop new, deep understandings of the practices of the communities involved in cultural heritage, and of how they can become active players in the technology design process. Given the complexity of heritage sites, it is also important to identify study techniques that capture the relationship between heritage settings and their stakeholders. Full reference: Ciolfi, L. and Petrelli, D. (2016), “Walking and Designing with Cultural Heritage Volunteers”, ACM Interactions, XXIII January + February 2016, 46-51

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