Immersive Heritage Project Wins a Gold Award

Deakin University’s MInD (Mediated Intelligence in Design) Lab has won a gold award in the 2020 Melbourne Design Awards for their ‘Experiencing (In)tangible Heritage Through eXtended Reality: Western Beach Park, Geelong’ project.

The Deakin team of Tuba Kocaturk, Sofija Kaljevic, Rui Wang, Chun Wang and Jarrod Argent worked with the City of Greater Geelong and technology developer DarkSpade on the project, which was awarded gold in the Systems – Concept category.

The context of the project is the newly revitalised Western Beach Park in Geelong, which draws on the area’s extensive industrial and leisure past. The project explores representational possibilities through immersive/locative media technologies and interactive storytelling to imaginatively connect people with location’s forgotten histories.

The reconstructed stories of the last 200 years, told through the application of various visual and auditory means, are activated through an augmented reality app designed to trigger the right story at the right time based on the visitor’s location while using the smart device.

Tuba Kocaturk is Professor of Integral Design at Deakin and founding director of MInD Lab, which is based in the School of Architecture and Built Environment. She is also the co-director of DesignMind, Deakin’s design and innovation platform.

‘This award is very significant for us,’ Professor Kocaturk says.

‘Firstly, it acknowledges our systemic approach to innovation through design-led research. Secondly, it acknowledges our proposition to seamlessly integrate heritage information into everyday city experience. With this recognition, we hope that we can now get the additional funding we need to take the project to the second stage, to implement it in Geelong, to offer a truly immersive heritage experience for the inhabitants and the visitors of the city.

‘The award is also an important validation of our current efforts at Deakin to support and invest in design-driven research and innovation, which is led by the DesignMind platform. MInD Lab is one of the key research groups at Deakin collaborating with DesignMind to establish a truly trans-disciplinary approach to Technology, Business and Design innovation.’