World Heritage Kvarken Archipelago 3 – 5 of May 2022
- World Heritage Kvarken Archipelago 2022
The VR-Networks second ”meet up” started by boat. If you are going to expierience – and understand this World Heritage site – boat is necessary. In this case; it was a so called RIB boat who brought us directly in to the Kvarken Archipelago. It was the perfect start for the visit. The beautiful sea, the stunning nature and the vastness of this site just made us understand the greatness of it. And all from the ”right” perspective – the seaside.
As we arrived to Molpehällarna, we also got the opportunity to experience the island by foot. You could actually see the tracks from the ice age. The Finnish hosts could not have made a more interesting start of the visit.
Network members from our five World Heritage sites; Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland (Sweden), Röros mining town and the Circumference (Norway), Thingvellir (Iceland) Kongernes Jelling (Denmark) and the hosting representatives from Kvarken Archipelago in Finland started up day 2 at Wasa Innovation Center after a refreshing walk through the town of Vasa. It’s interesting that this second Meet Up made us feel like we know each other really good. The discussions and exchanging of experiences and new ideas floated easily from the very beginning, which is the purpose of building networks. To minimize the distance between us. As for that – we are already in goal…
The first item for the day was KorsholmAR – The development process of an AR experience for Korsholm ”castle”. This was presented by project manager Heidi Hummelstedt from KulturÖsterbotten and Tobias Björkskog, project manager for Qvarken Game Lab (Novia Unerversity of Applied Sciences) Qvarken Game Lab
The Korsholm Castle was a medieval stronghold in Ostrobothnia, probably built in the 1370s and the oldest record dates back to 1384. The castle was originally built on a small island and was most probably surrounded by two palissades. The castle itself was probably built of wood. In the Middle Ages Korsholm was a property of the crown and members of the aristocracy. Today a low mound is all that remains of the castle and a monument depicts where the castle was situated. But how interesting if you could actually visit in AR! The project, that connects business with municipalities, are in making at the moment. And the presentation described both successfullness and difficulties.
One of the main focuses of the network is storytelling in a technically always changing world. Many times you have the technique, but not the stories that make the technique come to live. Ann-Sofi Backgren, project leader of StoryTagging #Northword Brand-Sofi was second up with the lecture Culture and nature heritage – the power of storytelling.
Ann-Sofi has a long experience of working with the World Heritage site Kvarchen Archipelago and at the same time an expert in Stoytelling. The huge impact in how you tell the story is at the same time both fantastic – and scary. With a bad or incomprehensible story, you can loose the target. For example; how do you make your hotel moore interesting thinking out of the box? Whatch this: Krepelin Storytagging story - YouTube It’s all in the storytelling! Read the presentation (pdf)
Ann Sofie Backgrens lecture was follwed by a conrete workshop using the ”opera-method”. This was great way for the members in the Network, sitting in splitted groups, to cooperate. Many good, many crazy and many useful ideas was created in a relatively short time. The workshop revealed that one does not need lots of time, but great minds. J So how can World Heritage Sites use storytelling? Through the stages of own suggestions, pair suggestions, group suggestions, explanations, ranking and arranging, we ended up with these five topics and the measures linked to them:
- Set the World Heritage on fire! What would we lose?
- Infuse scientific facts with emotions
- Make boring things interesting
- Attract new audiences
- Play with the concept of ”drunken” storytime
- Use different senses to tell stories
- Use the concept of sitting around a fire
- Utilise humans in storytelling, both as guides in nature and roleplay in digital world
- Paint the picture of the World Heritage together
Create engagement and understanding
- Make history relevant today
- Learn to tell your core DNA story in a few sentences
- Play with the concept of “telling the story wrong”
- Cherish engagement among people
- Use seasons in storytelling
- Make the visitors to identify with the site and its stories
- Use local food to tell stories
- Utilise the concept of childhood throughout times
Create accessibility and openness
- Make sure that World Heritage is accessible to everyone
The Wasa Innovation Center hosts many tech companies who works with different kind of science, culture, media etc. One of the companies is the gaming company Platonic Partnership Oy Platonic Partnership - Games That Motivate Change and Jussi Loukiainen told the story and process of how his company develops games, often with an horror angle. The lecture was titled Gaming and History . The goal for Platonic Partner is to be the best narrative driven game studio in the world. So quite high expectations! Never the less, Platonic Partnership Oy is an award-winning game studio with focus on narrative-driven games for PC and consoles. Wisdom is all about developing solutions for better communication and understanding (e.g tacit knowledge) and they were always driving for cutting-edge solutions for their clients. Platonic Partnership Oy was awarded as The Finnish Game Developer of the Year 2017.
Piia Orava, project leader of Kreativa Kvarken, Kvarken World Heritage association and member in the Nordic World Heritage VR-Network then told us about the interesting work of Kvarken Archipelago goes Kuula.co. Kuula is an 360 virtual tour software that works with both VR glasses and browser. No app nor login is needed. High Coast Kvarken Archipelago - World Heritage on Kuula It can easily be used at home, school, work etc. The first tour version was introduced to VEGA project: Virtual Reality Education and Game-based Achievements in Classrooms. Read the presentation: Kvarken Kuula.co experience (pdf).
At the end of the day the teames brought us up to date on whats been going on i each site since the last meeting in Jelling. This proved to be both really interresting aswell as fulfilling. All teams had started or was in developing of new AR or VR expeiriences. Kongernes Jelling had new ideas to springing form their meet-up and had continued to produce great content. In Thingvellir sites for immersive experiences had been choosen and developed, and the Norwegian team was in a early phase of developing their VR visit to the mine. Kvarken had their beautiful 360 visit to the archipelago and the Swedish team was just about to unveil their new gamification of the decorated farmhouses.
The next day held another Excursion in the World Heritage site Kvarken Archipelago. A guided tour with excellent guiding by Kenth Nedergård, Piia Orava and Fia Antus. A bus took us to Svedjehamn for a wonderful walk and a visit at the World Heritage Gateway Center.
We thank the Finnish team for great and interesting days in Vaasa and in WHS Kvarken Archipelago. The hosting was excellent and inspiring. The next ”meet up” will take place at the 10th of october in Thingvellir, Iceland.
/Anna-Karin Ferm (Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland)
Nordic World Heritage VR-Network
The World Heritage VR-Network will explore new ways of bringing World Heritage into the future virtual world, with the strong aim of relevance, accessibility and sustainability. Virtual reality (VR) is one way of telling the great cultural stories and at the same time reaching out to new people to benefit and understand their cultural heritage.
In 2021 the Nordic World Heritage VR-network got founded for Longterm Network by Nordic Culture Point. The network will serve to facilitate the exchange of ideas/know how in using VR to communicate the World Heritage content. The objectives of the network will be mapping and finding ways to distribute and share each other's experiences, as well as enhancing skills in storytelling with XR.