Virtual Reality of Medieval Culture
Digitisation of heritage through customs, photo archives, film footage, oral history documentaries and buildings has become central for the preservation of national identity and an effective tool in national strategies of undermining radical ideologies in marginalised communities. Virtual environments which encompass cultural heritage and are represented through digital media are often categorised as ‘virtual heritage’. Modern media and technologies offer the possibility to experience virtually reconstructed historic sites as visitors, travellers, or even as a resident. Although virtual heritage possesses great potential to reconstruct our heritage and memory, critics often blame high cost, sophisticated hardware and software requirements, inaccessibility of technology and training, and high maintenance for preventing widespread dissemination and use of virtual heritage platforms.
This project aims to uncover a conceptual framework for the development of virtual heritage platforms as a research, educational and engagement tool that brings historic spaces and buildings back to the recognition of the public eye of the ordinary user. It not only reproduces historical scenes through physical modelling of archaeological sites and data, but, more importantly, through serial narratives where life is explored and practised in motion, and where cultural-feed brings meaning, experiences and understanding to the socio-cultural context.
The project will develop a database of case studies of examples of virtual heritage platforms that offer a variety of methods, techniques, contexts, and outputs that are suitable to different purposes and audiences. It will train young professionals, and entrepreneurs on advanced techniques and applications of Virtual Heritage.
The project resulted in 5 start-ups in Egypt and award-winning virtual heritage platforms and applications that include: Bayt Al-Suhaimy, Souq Al-Khayamiyyah, Al-Muizz Street, Sultan Hassan Mosque. The project produced a research policy document: “Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age” (2017). The outcomes were on display at the London Design Festival (2018) and the Digital Heritage Expo in San Francisco (2018)
Project Investigator (PI) -
Nottingham Trent University