I had the opportunity to teach the VV Summer Workshop version 5.0 this year. I was joined by my colleagues from the Wired Lab, Mark Olson, Hannah Jacobs, Ed Triplett along with Ludovica Galeazzo, whom we have worked with on various Visualizing Venice projects over the years. While prior versions of the workshop were also great, we had an exceptional experience this time in terms of overall quality and commitment. Through the generous support of the Getty Foundation we have been able to bring together an ever-more competitive applicant pool, and we also made sure we had time to delve into the students’ individual project plans in hopes of tracing direct and lasting impacts from our interventions.
This year was special because we were holding the workshop in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto’s founding. Our Italian colleagues put together a major exhibition at Palazzo Ducale, and our workshop group had the great fortune to visit during the opening weekend.
At the same time, I worked with collaborators Paolo Borin, Università degli Studi di Padova, and Ludovica Galeazzo, Università Iuav di Venezia, in putting together a mobile app to be used on-site in the city. We experimented with different ways to present historical materials reflecting the lived experience of the space at different historical periods. Our final product, Ghett/App 1.0 is available for download now. Other colleagues developed another map-based tool, MAPPot, which focused on locating some other exhibition content within the city. We advertised both together at the exhibition.
Our biggest challenge was finding ways to overlay panoramas of the past and present in order to convey the sense of enclosure, densification, and change the region experienced, while still encouraging active engagement with the site today.
I will continue to develop these augmented reality and rich media content pieces of the project while I am teaching in Venice in Fall 2016.