Apologies for our absence in recent weeks, we’ve learnt a hard but important lesson about the fragility of on-line data. Our host had a server failure which resulted in the loss of our site. So far we have been unable to restore it, so in the meantime we are pitchin’ up here so we can keep a resemblance of ‘business-as-usual’. Rebuilding our past will take longer than building our future. So if you are missing past articles please bare with us.
Many thanks to Bryan Boyer and Justin W. Cook from the Helsinki Design Lab for presenting an inspiring talk at our department wide seminar series ‘Design Means…’ on Wednesday 15th May. Bryan and Justin have been on a whirlwind trip, presenting the findings from their strategic design research activities to design institutions and government organisations around the world. To find out more about Helsinki Design Lab you can visit helsinkidesignlab.org/. The Lab will be closing soon and so check out their projects and download free PDF versions their brilliant ‘Recipes for Systemic Change’ and other literature before the blog disappears!
Moving into new research territories, Peter Rogers and Juliet Sprake presented a series of projects that focus on user generated content for tours and guides at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. Since 2005 they have been working through several projects to develop understanding of user generated content in museums and sites of special interest in ways that give voice to the visitor. In their talk, “A tale of Two Workhouses”, Pete describes a current project, Vantage Points, a smartphone service that records and classifies features of heritage buildings at risk- such as Strand Union Workhouse in London. The project aims to build contextual information about at risk buildings and thereby contribute to saving/archiving them in the face of erasure. They are conducting a series of experiments to build a service that enables different kinds of users to generate content about a building at risk by:
Finding the best vantage point of a building at risk, taking a photo and sharing access information;
Finding, recording and publishing details of the close-up fabric and conjencturing about their identification and importance;
Augmenting and linking with other online sources of data.
The outcome should hopefully provide enough location date on site to be able to provide an informative tour of the building or site.