Art, Cultural Heritage and Education

Art, Cultural Heritage and Education interests lay in the design and implementation of basic technologies and integrated systems to deal with Interactive Multimedia and Virtual Environments applied to Art, Cultural Heritage and Education (ACE).
From the point of view of low-level basic technologies, the group’s interest is mainly focused on an aimed usage of multimodal rendering techniques, involving immersive stereoscopic visualization, 3D real-time graphics and audio, interaction devices. The objective is to effectively use existing tools, when necessary developing ad-hoc ones, in order to build a development pipeline for ACE applications providing a seamless workflow, starting from the modelling of Virtual Environments to their interactive fruition. The vision is to achieve a standardization of methodologies and technologies related to acquisition of 2D/3D data, 3D modelling, texturing and post-processing, management of complex 3D scenes, interactive and immersive multimodal rendering.
This integrated layer of basic technologies is meant to be used for the development of VE systems; however, prior to the realization of custom applications which address specific needs, it is advisable to setup a further layer of intermediate solutions that may find application in several contexts. The research lines currently being explored in this sense are related to the design of novel representation modalities and interaction metaphors. The application of these representation and interaction modalities is meant to provide not only an innovative fruition of the existing cultural heritage, but also to conceive and implement novel expression styles.
In order to close the circle between the cultural experience designer and the end-user, a very interesting line of research is related to the extreme links of the work chain, which are often neglected in existing VE systems devoted to ACE: the design of the cultural experience and its final evaluation. The wide spreading of new technologies has generated a huge amount of digital and virtual museums, collections or galleries, causing a significant shift in the classical museography/user relationship. For this reason many consolidated issues may be less or not meaningful when dealing with virtual instances, therefore it is strongly needed a set of methodologies and guidelines able to help both the cultural designer and the technical developer to profitably cooperate in order to fully exploit the power of digital technologies, at the same time always keeping the cultural experience on target. On the other side, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these methodologies, targeted assessment procedures are being setup and tested on existing and in-progress systems, so as to provide necessary information in the feedback loop.