Best Arts & Culture Collaboration
Winner - Professor Maria Economou 'EMOTIVE - Digital Storytelling in cultural heritage'
The EMOTIVE project led by Professor Maria Economou from the School of Humanities, collaborated with cultural and creative industry professionals to pioneer the use of digital interpretation technology in storytelling to stimulate emotions, connect with the past, and engage visitors to heritage attractions in richer, more rewarding ways.
Using a dual design and evaluation methodology, they developed new techniques adopted for UNESCO World Heritage Site management in Scotland and Germany, and by cultural organisations in Glasgow, Barcelona, Athens and Kurdistan.
Economou’s research team also helped commercial partners in the UK, France and Greece to improve their storytelling authoring tools, leading to product improvements with commercial benefits.
Funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, the EMOTIVE project allowed users to imagine what life might have been like hundreds of years ago through the power of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality technology and digital storytelling.
EMOTIVE aimed to develop emotional experiences for visitors at cultural heritage sites, in particular the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Antonine Wall and the related Roman Frontier display at The Hunterian in Glasgow and the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey.
EMOTIVE’s design and evaluation of digital storytelling tools offer a readily applicable toolkit for engaging heritage interpretation; a model that can be rolled out to any museum or heritage site.
The research benefited Historic Environment Scotland (HES, Scotland’s national heritage agency), and the local authorities who help manage the Antonine Wall, as well as German heritage agencies that manage parts of the Frontiers World Heritage Site.
Other heritage sites and museums have been inspired by the model to adopt the same digital storytelling practices at Athens and Catalonia, both major tourist destinations, and at Kurdistan where it has been applied to endangered heritage.
Maria and her collaborators have been recognised for their innovative approaches to creating tools and immersive technologies to develop emotional experiences for visitors at cultural heritage sites.