We’ve ended the term on a great week: on Monday we went to London for three main reasons:

1. To visit the Crystal Palace Park in order to take photographs and see how the remaining elements of the Palace (the terraces and the dinosaur exhibit) are presented to the public. Particularly interesting to see how the information boards at the dinosaurs tie together information about the prehistoric creatures themselves and the circumstances of their production and display in the park – and how they deal with the ‘mistakes’ made by the Victorians. A lesson in the contingency of all knowledge is provided by the fact that one of the signs has a big sticker over one section, presumably to conceal a very recent blunder made on them!

2. National Gallery. We went here to observe first hand how people move around space and interact with each other – Nic was particularly interested in the audio tours – useful both for how they adopted different tones and offered varying level of detail depending on whether you choose adult or child tour – and how they effectively cut off communctaion with the rest of the social space of the gallery and other visitors. We’re considering the role of audio in the model as a result.

3. User Group: We finished by meeting with Kate Nichols who is doing excellent work on the Crystal Palace at Birkbeck, to discuss what she’d like to see in the model. As well as discussing the archival content of the model, we discussed the problem of ease of access and problems associated with the reputation of Second Life.


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