New UDigiSH tool is published to support innovative participatory practices for urban transitions

UDigiSH Working Group operates within the cross-disciplinary area as defined by the nature of the pressing challenges that our historic cities are facing (e.g., climate, gentrification, decay, migration, etc.). The objective of this study is to better understand how built heritage contributes to the development of resilient cities, focusing on new ways to transform neglected urban spaces and neighbourhoods in second- and third-tier European historic cities in the Mediterranean territory. Our Working Group is pleased to announce that the group of Mobility at DeustoTech has kindly offered in kind contribution to DARIAH by means of several person months’ technical support to the WGs activities regarding the use of ICT and data-driven tools for community building around contemporary challenges of urban heritage and historic sites. Leveraging on the results of prior collaboration of WG members, applying good practices for sustainable futures, as discussed in Urban Living Labs by the community of JPI Urban Europe, and drawing on knowledge produced in the context of H2020 COST Action CyberParks, the team at DeustoTech developed a dedicated software tool for the needs of the WG. The mobile app, provisionally published under the name DARIAH app, is a digital research tool designed for community building through participatory design and co-creation methodologies which will allow the WG to work with local groups, and to study, discuss and analyse sites of interest in any city, that can be enacted today in many variable contexts with the help of smartphones. DARIAH app consists of an application (designed for Android) capable of collecting a variety of audio-visual, geolocative and textual materials. It functions as a unique support for innovative participatory practices for urban transitions, and enables individuals to:

  • create ‘proposals’ related to places of interest;
  • group in ‘projects’ relevant information about the transformation, preservation or renovation of a building, urban site, etc.;
  • create, automatically generate and upload linked data (and metadata) about the topic of interest, including textual sources, photographs, videos, 360 panoramas, 3D models; as well as,
  • tag digital assets with commentary, vote and exchange opinions and ideas about topics of interest.

In parallel, the UDigiSH Working Group in collaboration with the Advanced Visualisation Laboratory, at NCSA, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, with the support of Professor D. Cox, and Colter Wehmeier, Kajetan Haas and AJ Christensen, is developing experimental tools, scripts and workflows for the visualisation of 3D spatialised urban datasets in Augmented Reality, to be accessible through mobile devices. This collaboration was pursued in the context of the research activity of RIVEEL3D. These integrated data interaction and visualisation workflows have great potential in archaeological and cultural heritage applications for the stakeholder engagement in the management of heritage sites, as well as the immersion of the public in the history of cultural places and landscapes, for educational purposes. Provisionally published under the name WIKAR app is a mobile app for the visualisation, geolocation of and interaction with 3D models of objects (e.g., a monument, a building, a square, urban furniture) that are manually modelled or photogrammetrically documented, through Augmented Reality (AR). Currently it functions as a complementary AR enabled tool to the DARIAH app that allows its users to visualise 3D digital assets linked to a topic of interest in the real world, facilitating interpretation of information and staging dialogue between the many stakeholders of urban spaces and the city administration. The overarching objective of this effort is to develop and propose an inclusive and open data-driven participatory methodology for the sustainable management, reactivation and reintegration of historic sites and open air spaces of our cities into the contemporary lives of their inhabitants.

Using the Wikar DARIAH app in Palermo, Sicily, to virtually position the 3D model of an important local art object (‘Acqua Passata’, part of the EU project ‘Snapshots from the Borders’) at the industrial heritage site of Fabrica Ducrot (1890- 1968), by means of Augmented Reality.


Author: gartopoulos

Georgios holds a Master of Philosophy in Architecture and the Moving Image (University of Cambridge, UK, 2004) and a PhD, conducted at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (2005-2010), with a Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, where he assisted as Tutor and Research Assistant. Previously he was employed by the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Cambridge and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Giorgos has contributed in 12 International Research Programs and received the Best International Short Film award in Mestre Film Festival, Venice and his work was presented in the International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Czech National Gallery, Prague, the International Exhibition Computational Turn in Architecture, MAV, Marseille, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, the 11th and 12th Biennale of Young Creators of Europe, the 63rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, the London Design Festival, London, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, the ISEA 2006 and 2008, the British Council, Brussels, the Byzantine Museum, Athens, the Benakis Museum, Athens and in many International Film Festivals and art exhibitions.

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