An innovative holographic showcase to communicate the museum’s objects. The case study of the Kunagota sword

(CNR ITABC, Monterotondo (Rome), Italy)

Keywords: museum’s communication, holographic showcase, emotional storytelling,  mixed reality, design of user experience

Under the CEMEC European project, Connecting European Early Medieval Collections, a novel kind of multimedia installation has been created for an exhibition that will be travelling across European Museums until the end of 2019.
The installation is conceived to create a powerful connection between the real artifact and the virtual contents  and it consists in a holographic showcase integrated in a projection wall.
In the showcase the real artifact is shown and thanks to the virtual projection on and around it, it is brought back to life: the public can watch and listen to fragments of its story, evoking characters, events, voices.
The communication is built around three conceptual phases: neutral vision of the object, analytic vision and interpretation of its details in the showcase, contextualization on the projection wall.
The reconstruction of senses and symbolic dimensions that are beyond the object’s appearance can take the visitor in the middle of a powerful perceptive and cognitive experience of mixed reality.
Beside visualization, narration is a fundamental tool, creating a harmonic convergence of script, image, light, sound, mood and atmosphere, in order to compose an expressive unit into which the object is the protagonist. Indeed a dramaturgy takes place.
The first case study, that will be presented along all the complex process of creation, is dedicated  to  the Kunágota sword, belonged to an Avar warrior of the 7th century A.D., currently preserved in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. In this venue the installation has been on display, from the begin of March until mid May 2017.
The effectiveness of such digital storytelling system has been tested through a user experience evaluation conducted at the Museum. Preliminary results reveal the concrete embodiment of visitors along all the storylines and the correspondent learning benefit. Attention and memorability are highly reached.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
The project is an example of innovative use of digital technologies and visualization techniques for enhanced storytelling inside museums.

The innovation consists in the powerful connection between real artifacts and virtual contents allowed by the holographic structure and by an innovative emotional storytelling using theatrical rules.


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