Creative Experiences for Engaging Communities with Cultural Heritage through Place-based Narratives

Karina Rodriguez Echavarria, Myrsini Samaroudi, Laurie Dibble, Edward Silverton, Sophie Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research explores technologically advanced means to enhance audiences’ connection with cultural heritage assets through participatory creative methods that particularly reinforce young people’s sense of identity and well-being during sensitive “transitional” periods of their lives. Hence, the research investigates how communities can meaningfully connect with cultural heritage through creative experiences, while aiming at lowering the entry barriers to increasing audiences’ participation. For this, the research deploys narrative approaches to illuminate different viewpoints and interpretations of cultural heritage within communities. The contribution of the article is twofold, as it includes a novel approach for developing and re-telling communities’ narratives linked to people, objects, sites, and events in the urban landscape. At the same time, it proposes a workflow to digitise and communicate these narratives through Augmented Reality (AR) Maps by proposing methods for digitisation and producing physical printed elements for the experience. These physical elements are then augmented with digital narratives, delivered through Immersive Web technology. This concept is proposed as a means to document and disseminate the narratives in a way that enhances the public understanding and appreciation of objects and sites. The approach was tested with a class of children in a local primary school in Brighton and Hove (UK) to understand its suitability for community engagement, targeting young audiences. The significance of the research is that it demonstrates the potential of the synergy between creative and digital approaches for enabling meaningful engagement with the cultural heritage while improving the well-being of the participants as well as their sense of community and place.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Bec Britain and Jo Coles from Our Future City who co-designed, developed, and delivered the workshops, as well as Peter Chivers for supporting the activity. We also thank Karin Janzon, from Hove Civic Society, for her continuous support in engaging communities in Hove, as well as Kate Howland who contributed to ideas for the community engagement. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the teachers and children of the school in Hove for participating with so much enthusiasm in the research. The project has received support from the Santander Undergraduate Research Scheme at the University of Brighton.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Association for Computing Machinery.


  • Human-centered computing
  • Mixed / augmented reality
  • Information systems
  • Applied computing


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