Taarnborg: Becoming History

Emanuela Marchetti, Zheng Dai, Olafur Omarsson

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

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Focus of this project is an inquiry in the materialisation of the historical heritage of Taarnborg (Ribe, Denmark) once a place related to local religious authorities, now a private home and museum, where visitors attend to musical events and lectures about history and theology. Following the desire of the owner of the museum, we studied how to alter the material-semiotic configuration of some rooms, so to elicit spiritual emotional responses in the visitors, together with a sense of belonging and involvement that could trigger a deep, implicit learning process.

Since the museal religious setting was unfamiliar to us, we applied user centred design method: observed and questioned visitors, to study their bodily interaction with the spaces in Taarnborg. The result was the creation of a new atmosphere that transformed the feeling of the place, by using quite ordinary artifacts, such as fragrances, candle lights and music; limiting in this way the impact on the historical setting.

We conclude that it is possible to turn a place of learning into a context for embodied interaction, where explicit learning activities are enriched by implicit learning experiences. The design space became then alive and engaged visitors in a discourse about the past, by instigating a change in group's behavioural pattern. They felt like prayers in a sanctuary, sitting silently immersed in a sacred atmosphere. They did not simply attend just another lecture, they experienced how the old building was crowded with historical memories and felt that they were becoming part of them.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventPlaceME conferences, Space, Interaction, Discourse 2008 - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 12. Nov 200814. Nov 2008
Conference number: 2008


ConferencePlaceME conferences, Space, Interaction, Discourse 2008


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