Cultural heritage technology has been a domain of study for HCI and Interaction Design for many years. Findings from a number of studies suggest that, however, technology can sometime distance visitors from heritage holdings rather than enabling people to establish deeper connections to what they see. Some examples of research have looked at designing tangible and embedded interactions for cultural heritage as a way to bridge the gap between the digital information and physical artefacts. However, this kind of installations is still not very widespread at heritage sites due to costs, maintenance and design constraints. This talk will discuss current work on the EU project "meSch" (Material EncounterS with Digital Cultural Heritage) aimed at creating a do-it-yourself platform for cultural heritage professionals to design interactive tangible computing installations. The co-design approach applied to the project (involving cultural heritage professionals, designers, developers and social scientists) will be described, together with examples of research by design and rapid prototyping of interaction concepts at a variety of heritage sites, including archaeology and art museums, hands-on exploration centres and outdoor historical sites.
Dr. Luigina Ciolfi is Reader in Communication in the Communication and Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University. She holds a Laurea (Univ. of Siena, Italy) and a PhD (Univ. of Limerick, Ireland) in Human-Computer Interaction, and has researched for over 15 years the design and evaluation of interactive technologies for human use and enjoyment, with particular focus on situated interaction, collaboration and participation in design. Dr. Ciolfi has worked on several national and international research projects on topics such as heritage technologies, interaction in public spaces and mobile and nomadic work, and is the author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications in international conferences and journals. She has been an invited speaker in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, France, Norway, Cyprus, Italy, the USA and the UK. As well as sitting on numerous scientific committees in the human-centred computing field, her current service also includes: technical program co-chair, ACM CSCW 2015; associate editor, CSCW Journal (Springer); associate chair, ACM CHI 2013-2014; elected chair of the ACM SigCHI “Heritage Matters” special interest community; member of the Irish National Consultation Panel on “Cultural Heritage and Global Change”. Full details on Dr. Ciolfi's work can be found at www.luiginaciolfi.com.