(KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Keywords: Augmented reality; heritage environment; communication; architectural context
Understanding the spatial and aesthetic transformations of spaces, decoration and materials over the time is one of the important heritage challenges. Communicating this information is not only necessary for documentation and conservation purposes, but it also corresponds to raise community awareness and to enable heritage visitors to appreciate heritage buildings and sites in more experiential ways. With the rapid evolution of digital technologies, museums and heritage environments started to incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) to present and interpret heritage artifacts in more appealing and exciting ways. AR allows both an enrichment of heritage communication, and also encouragement of interactivity in heritage environments. Through a field study in a real-world heritage environment, we investigated how AR enhances the communication of the original context of the chapel of Arenberg Castle in Belgium. We deployed a mixed-method evaluation methodology that aimed to communicate the original architectural context of the chapel and to increase engagement and memorability of heritage visitors. Our results show how visitors were able to realize and to recall salient architectural features and spatial dimensions of the chapel during the sixteenth century. We conclude the paper with a set of discussion points about how AR positively affects visitors’ memorability of architectural qualities, and how it provokes their curiosity to explore more information. We highlight some considerations about AR visualization, such as how the colorful details draw visitors’ focus of attention, and how heritage uncertainty should be visualized in AR applications.
Relevance for the conference: Enabling heritage visitors to appreciate heritage buildings and sites in more experiential ways
Relevance for the session: Through a field study in a real-world heritage environment, we investigated how AR enhances the communication of the original context of the chapel of Arenberg Castle in Belgium
Innovation: Our results show how heritage visitors were able to realize and to recall salient architectural features and spatial dimensions of the historical chapel during the sixteenth century