Reusing existing digital resources in the creation of novel forms of visitor’s experiences

The paper was presented in at the annual conference of CIDOC, the International Committee for Documentation of ICOM, in the session Session K: Access to Cultural Heritage. It took place from 6th – 11th of September 2014 in Dresden, Germany.


Petrelli, Daniela and Lechner, Monika. The meSch project – Material EncounterS with digital Cultural Heritage: Reusing existing digital resources in the creation of novel forms of visitor’s experiences. Long Paper presented at CIDOC 2014.


A wealth of digital cultural heritage content is currently available in online repositories, portals or on museum servers. It is however accessed only in a limited way and utilised through rather static modes of delivery, missing the connection and interaction with the real objects and physical artefacts in the museum or heritage site. What is more, digital artefacts lack materiality, authenticity and “aura”, which is crucial to the appreciation of cultural heritage.

The meSch project – Material EncounterS with digital Cultural Heritage – has the goal of bridging the gap between the cultural heritage experience on-site and online. meSch will enable cultural heritage professionals to create tangible smart exhibits, enriched by digital content, without the need for specialised technical knowledge. To achieve this goal a set of physical hardware and software components is being developed: the meSch platform. It consists of an authoring tool for the composition of physical/digital narratives that can be mapped to the interactive artefacts, and an embedded multi-sensor digital system platform for the construction of ad-hoc physical smart exhibits.

The meSch approach is grounded on principles of co-design and on a Do-It-Yourself philosophy of making and experimentation. Co-design involves broad participation of designers, developers and cultural heritage stakeholders in the development and design process. Hands-on design and maker workshops are held throughout the project to shape the development of the meSch tools. The ultimate goal of the project is to support the creation of an open community of cultural heritage professionals driving and sharing a new generation of interactive physical/digital smart exhibits for the museum environment and heritage sites.

meSch receives funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme ‘ICT
for access to cultural resources’ and is currently in its second year.


Full lenght paper

The paper can be downloaded as pdf from the CIDOC 2014 website.

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