In November 2016, representatives from eight institutions and companies gathered in Athens, Greece to launch EMOTIVE - a H2020-funded project working on the research, design, development and evaluation of various ’emotive storytelling’ methods and tools.
Our goal is to produce prototype tools and applications capable of generating immersive, personalised digital narrative experiences for museum and heritage site visitors. By integrating emotive storytelling techniques into these narratives, the project aims to increase engagement with, and retention of, cultural heritage experiences.
With the help of this bi-annual newsletter, we’ll keep you updated on the happenings of the EMOTIVE project and ‘emotive storytelling’ in general. You can expect insights into our work, updates on our progress and links to many exciting topics related to the project, storytelling and cultural heritage.
So here’s to the start of a new project discovering, exploring and telling the stories hidden in our cultural heritage!
the EMOTIVE Team
Who we are
Hailing from United Kingdom, Greece, France, Italy and Ireland, the EMOTIVE team includes archaeologists, researchers, designers, writers and developers - truly an interdisciplinary group!
The core team is made up of eight institutions and companies: Exus Innovation, Athena Research and Innovation Center, University of York, INRIA, CNR-ISTI, Diginext, Noho and the University of Glasgow. You can find out more about each partner on our project website, www.emotiveproject.eu.
During the lifetime of the project, the EMOTIVE team will also be working closely with two cultural partner sites, Çatalhöyük in Turkey and the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, to develop and test new storytelling tools. And we will be reaching out to a range of specialists in user design, gaming, curation, digital engagement and interpretation, to inform our work and build a network around the project.
The audience for EMOTIVE is twofold. Firstly, heritage professionals. For them, EMOTIVE will provide powerful storytelling engines and a set of rich digital media assets that can be used to create detailed characters and narratives featuring archaeological sites or collections of artefacts.
Secondly, there are museum and heritage site visitors. EMOTIVE will offer them dramatic, emotionally engaging stories that can be experienced onsite or remotely. Indeed, wherever visitors are, they can follow characters, look for clues and explore environments, alone or with family and friends.
Our first six months... Project kick-off!
The EMOTIVE project kicked-off in Athens on 26 November 2016. Members from all eight partner institutions and companies gathered at the offices of the Athena Research Institute to meet, greet and plan the work ahead.
EMOTIVE partners gather for project kick-off, Athens
1001 Stories at the Ancient Agora of Athens
The first iteration of the first EMOTIVE stories was released and tested in December 2016 at the archeological site of the Ancient Agora in Athens, Greece. The stories, composed by archeologist- storytellers Ms. Katerina Servi and Mr. Francesco Ripanti, aim at involving the visitors of the Ancient Agora in an emotional travel to the past. Well known archaeological sites like the Ancient Agora have a high dramatic potential that can help to humanize what is difficult to understand.
The focus of this first formative evaluation was to test the usability of the prototype; the understanding of the stories; and the potential of the stories in striking an emotional chord. Seven users of different ages experienced two sample stories, and the main overarching story, using mobile phones. Overall, the participants enjoyed the experience, especially walking in the Agora and listening to the stories in situ.
1st EMOTIVE user workshop
The first EMOTIVE User Workshop took place amid the august surroundings of the University of Glasgow on 22-23 February 2017. Coordinated by Dr Sara Perry (University of York), Dr Maria Economou (University of Glasgow) and Dr Maria Roussou (University of Athens), the goal of the workshop was to test out preliminary tools that the project has been developing to generate emotional engagement, group play and group collaboration between heritage site visitors.
A range of leading international specialists in the fields of user design, gaming, curation, digital engagement and interpretation participated in the two-day session of listening, discussing, evaluating and brainstorming with the aim of developing concepts for user experiences for EMOTIVE's two cultural partner sites (Hunterian Museum, Scotland and Çatalhöyük, Turkey). The workshop also included hands-on engagement with the famous Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site and several short presentations from speakers and members of the project team.
To find out more about the workshop read our blog post here.
EMOTIVE partners and guests at work on new stories at The Hunterian
At the end of May, the EMOTIVE team gathered in Athens for a series of team-based collaborative and plenary meetings.
Our focus was to align and coalesce the technical and user-related aspects of the project, moving toward a single vision of the platform’s scope and functionality. The meetings were very productive and over the summer months we will be further developing scenarios and technologies to support our two cultural partner sites, Çatalhöyük and the Hunterian Museum.
Watch this space!
'Story demands both vivid imagination and powerful analytic thought.'
So said Robert McKee, author of 'Story', the popular and hugely influential book on narrative structure. Although McKee's book is concerned primarily with screenwriting for film, many of the 'story' principles he identifies hold true regardless of whatever form the 'telling' takes.
At EMOTIVE, we’re passionate about great stories. We regularly post articles and videos covering smart thinking on storytelling from across the web - evidence of both vivid imagination and analytic thought at work on the subject.
Check out our website, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook pages, for regular updates on all things heritage & storytelling!