Extending the virtual: the museum as a hybrid experience

May 3rd, 2023

Categories: Applications, Education, Museums, Software, User Groups, VR, VR Art, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), New Media Arts, eXtended Reality (XR)


EVL alumna and Associate Professor in Interactive Systems at the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Maria Roussou presents her research in immersive eXtended Reality (XR):
Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 1:30PM
EVL Continuum Room 2068 ERF

Dr. Roussou’s talk entitled &ldquo:Extending the virtual: the museum as a hybrid experience” will discuss the use of advanced digital technologies, such as Virtual Reality, in the GLAM sector (e.g., galleries, libraries, archives, museums, etc.) to create immersive experiences for visitors has come of age. However, to date, the emphasis has been on reconstructing the real to transgress the built environment's limitations. Nowadays, the focus turns to integrating the physical and the virtual. The physical space is highlighted, complemented, and expanded through close coupling with the digital. Tangible objects are integrated and play a leading role in the digital experiences of visitors, creating a hybrid reality. Drawing from a range of high-end immersive eXtended Reality (XR) applications but also lower-end mobile tours created for cultural or informal educational purposes, this talk will explore how the future’s hybrid nature is shifting immersive presentation from the mainly didactic walkthroughs to experiences that are playful, emotive, social and shared, meaningfully interactive, and, ultimately, relevant and resonant to those they are designed for.

Specifically, Roussou will present aspects of the BRIDGES project, a multi-user, multisensory XR experience set in informal learning contexts, and the EMOTIVE project, which aims to leverage interactive, social, and participatory capabilities. Both combine historical accuracy in representation with dramatic storytelling to enhance knowledge about the past, historical empathy, and resonance.

The BRIDGES project and the EMOTIVE project have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Maria Roussou is an Associate Professor in Interactive Systems at the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In 2003 she founded and co-directed makebelieve, an experience design and consulting company. Previously, she established (in 1998) and directed (until 2003) the Virtual Reality Department at the Foundation of the Hellenic World, where she was responsible for setting up the immersive projection-based VR exhibits and managing the research, design and development of the VR programs and related visitor experiences. She holds a PhD in Computer Science (VR/HCI) from the University of London (UCL), a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Electronic Visualization from the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Science (M.Sc) in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the same university, and an undergraduate degree in Applied Informatics from the Athens University of Economics and Business. Maria is a Senior Member of the ACM, and Vice-chair of the Greek ACM SIGCHI Chapter and the Greek ACM-W Chapter.