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Evaluation of heritage experiences and the influence of in-situ visual interpretation of non-existent artefacts at St Augustine's Abbey

Majd Ardekani, Ayda (2022) Evaluation of heritage experiences and the influence of in-situ visual interpretation of non-existent artefacts at St Augustine's Abbey. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97671) (KAR id:97671)


Research on heritage experiences approaches the subject from many fields of study, including visitor experiences, interpretation and reconstruction. Despite the multidi- mensionality of heritage experiences, fewer studies observe it from an integrated inter- disciplinary perspective. The emergence of digital technologies and their fast evolution has resulted in frameworks to enhance cultural heritage experiences, specifically by introducing innovative audio and visual interpretation methods.

This research approaches the subject of heritage experiences with specific attention to the collective influence that interpretation methods could have on visitor experiences and making sense of non-existent artefacts digitally presented in-situ among heritage ruins. This research is site-specific to St Augustine's Abbey; an English Heritage site and part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site. The research questions outlined in this research enquire about the contribution of interpretation methods to making sense of a significantly demolished heritage place where only a limited number of artefacts remain on the grounds.

The methodology for this research included: 1) Evaluation of heritage experiences focusing on four core themes, which has been achieved through two stages of qualitative research; and 2) Digital reconstruction workflows, which included selecting non-existent artefacts, digitally reconstructing and presenting them in the form of projections in- situ. The influence of digital reconstruction on heritage experiences and making sense of lost artefacts and the site was examined as part of Stage 2.

The research findings at Stages 1 and 2 demonstrated that presence on the site and having access to audio and visual interpretation of the historic Abbey complement each other and positively contribute to heritage experiences. Participants of this study reported that particular interpretation methods contribute to understanding the his- toric monastic complex, navigating the ruins and envisioning the scale of the Abbey in the past. This research contributes to learning the advantages of in-situ and dig- ital reconstruction of non-existent artefacts. Further to previously introduced digital frameworks for screen-based visual interpretation of heritage, such as Augmented Re- ality or device dependent methods such as Virtual Reality, it explores the possibilities and consequences of Spatially Augmenting the space using projections and blending imageries with the site.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: von Jungenfeld, Rocio
Thesis advisor: Labadi, Sophia
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97671
Uncontrolled keywords: Heritage, visitor experiences, digital reconstruction, Spatial Augmented Reality
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums. Collectors and collecting
T Technology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Majd Ardekani, Ayda.

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