(In)tangible Heritage of the Greater Geelong: Public City Space as Virtual Museum

Mediated Intelligence in Design

The project aim is to develop an interactive digital heritage platform that will transform and connect historically significant public spaces of the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) into a virtual museum called Geelong Digital Outdoor Museum (GDOM) by using Matterport-3D technology and available digitalised archival material. We will use existing heritage data of different formats, currently stored throughout various archives/libraries including digital archives such as Trove, to recover memories and animate historical records tied to specific city locations to allow virtual visitors to engage, experience and reinterpret the past of the city in a completely novel way. Virtual 3D-tours, accessible through personal home computers or smart mobile devices will allow users to immerse themselves into the present scenery of the urban Geelong landscape infused with historical information distributed and organised through the application of digital storytelling and curating. We will provide the end user with a completely innovative exploration tool to browse through space and time simultaneously. Both, local community members but also outsiders, would have a chance to explore the virtual city with fresh eyes.

This work is propelled by a sense of urgency: the cultural landscapes that inspire all of us and carry tremendous cultural significance and are under increasing threat of disappearing. The urban landscape of CoGG is changing rapidly, erasing all physical traces of the city before, and at the same time, erasing people’s life-stories, memories and pasts. By following the goals of UNESCO’s 2030 “Agenda for Sustainable Development”, our work seeks to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage”. We seek to provide a testimony of the city’s hidden past that may otherwise be lost and forgotten due to rapid urban development, recent natural disasters, and currently, lack of physical accessibility and emotional attachment to the city spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this work we aim to contribute to the resilient cultural landscape of the city and the region, easily adaptable for any future uncertainty by utilising many advances of modern technology and big data. This project will challenge the way we think about the heritage industry by using current unpredictable conditions to our advantage.

Geelong Digital Outdoor Museum (GDOM) can be accessed from https://gdom.mindlab.cloud on your phone, tablet or computer.

Project Team (Deakin):
Domenico Mazza
Sofija Kaljevic
Tuba Kocaturk
Anahita Sal Moslehian

In collaboration with:
Malcolm McKinnon

This project is supported by the City of Greater Geelong through the Arts & Culture Arts Industry Commissions.