Heritage, Place and Interactivity: Rethinking Space Representation as Interface Design

Heritage, Place and Interactivity: Rethinking Space Representation as Interface Design

Rodrigo Cury Paraizo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal Fluminese University, Brazil) and José Ripper Kós (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-044-0.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter examines the requirements for heritage spatial representation to suggest design guidelines for these interpretive environments. It focuses on the concept of play and its role in the construction of place, or meaningful space, by means of rituals and regulated actions. Examples are given not only from virtual heritage applications but also from other digital works, especially video games, whose implementations to foster user engagement must be regarded as possible key strategies towards creating virtual places in their broadest sense, that is, spaces of multiple possible meanings.
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Virtual Heritage And Digital History

For the most part, virtual heritage is a synonym for pre-rendered animated walkthroughs, interactive Quicktime VR panoramas or 3D visualization in real time in game engines, with interaction devices ranging from simple mouse and keyboards to head-mounted displays and CAVEs. Early examples are the pre-rendered sequences of past configurations of a building and its surroundings of the Ename Abbey reconstruction (Pleticnkx et al., 2000); the reconstruction of the destroyed Synagogue Neudeggergase in Vienna (Martens et al., 2000) and the visualization of unbuilt works from Louis Kahn (Larson, 2000). Interaction, in those cases, are usually translated as real time modification of the camera position, roughly simulating the user’s movements in the virtual environment.

According to Addison (2006, p. 36), “virtual heritage” is “(...) the use of digital technologies to record, model and visualize cultural and natural heritage” (italics in original). The term echoes “virtual reality”, and is linked to the first uses of computers to display heritage. “Virtual” also signals that the image displayed is but one actualization of a complex set of possibilities, a virtuality: as Lévy (1996) notes, virtual is opposed not to real, but to actual.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hyperdocument: Non-linear document composed of nodes and links.

Virtual Heritage: The use of digital technologies to record, model and visualize cultural and natural heritage.

Virtual Reconstruction: 3D modeling of heritage structures.

History: Active knowledge of the past, built from empirically testable records that serve as basis for a socially constructed, integral yet contingent and continually revised version of the past

Interpretive Environment: Space built or arranged for the purpose of displaying elements to be interpreted by an audience.

Heritage: Objects from the past to which values are socially attributed.

Territory: Space with institutionally attributed meaning.

Place: Space with individually attributed meaning.

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