Virtual Heritage Project

We are seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds - digital media artists, creative writers, archaeologists, 3D designers, heritage professionals, educators, historians, games developers and more - who want to direct their interests in heritage toward the realization of new and original works.

One way of defining virtual heritage is the digital ‘visualisation’ or ‘recreation’ of a culture through its artefacts. As Erik Champion notes in Playing with the Past, virtual heritage projects typically “recreate” or “reconstruct” the past for a variety of reasons; when a culture is no longer with us, when a culture is so ingrained that we do not normally notice or appreciate it, or when the remains of a past society or civilisation are inaccessible or scattered.

Another definition of virtual heritage was included in the 2018 Virtual Heritage Network conference call for papers:

Virtual refers to computer-generated visualisations having three or more dimensions regardless of the method used to produce them (e.g. modelling, photogrammetry, scanning, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, virtual/augmented reality, RTI etc.). Heritage refers to tangible objects, such as cultural heritage sites, monuments and artefacts, as well as intangible elements, such as performing arts, social and ritual practices, knowledge and skills

There are a number of areas where research techniques developed in the field of virtual heritage are proving to have significant impact. For example:

  • The use of 3D animation, sonic design and virtual reality technology to visualise, archive and communicate both tangible and intangible cultural material
  • Game engines being used to create simulations, visualisations interactive narratives to explore past cultures
  • New interface technologies are allowing researchers to interact with heritage data through augmented reality, virtual reality and haptic devices

This practice based PhD project offers students the opportunity to explore emerging techniques and technologies through the creation of a major digital work and accompanying exegesis. Such a research project might address - but is not limited to - the following topics:

  • The evidence based, digital reconstruction of archaeological, mythological & historical worlds
  • The incorporation of intangible heritage, such as oral traditions, in virtual heritage applications
  • Narrative and cultural immersion in virtual reality environments
  • The design & evaluation of cultural simulations in virtual environments
  • Applied research in the development and deployment digital heritage archives, GIS datasets and 3D repositories
  • Virtual Museums, Virtual Archaeology, Virtual Exhibitions, Serious Games for Cultural Heritage
  • Analysis and interpretation of virtual heritage 3D model assemblies; for example procedural methods for architectural modelling
  • 3D data capture and representation for virtual heritage conservation
  • Visualisation and Interaction technologies for virtual heritage

Project Supervisors: Tom ChandlerVince DziekanJon McCormack

For more information, please contact Tom Chandler