ALGORITHMIC TOURISM

Design Exploration for the Culture Finder Project

  • role: user experience design, visual design (ADL)
  • work: film, prototypes, software, print, web, electronics
  • client: David Chatting, CultureFinder project.

CultureFinder is a website and mobile app which assists visitors to Cambridge, England in planning their time, creating a personal downloadable tour or following curated/thematic tours, while introducing the possibility for serendipity and chance discoveries.

The Algorithmic Tourism design exploration ran in parallel with the development of CultureFinder, to serve as a lens for constructive critique and to frame the work in a broader future context.

The exploration began with the creation of the film ‘Discovering Cambridge: One Way or Another’ in which visitors to Cambridge were interviewed about their visitor experience and their plans.

Eight design briefs were inspired by the process of making the film. These briefs were resolved into a constructive critique and collated in a digital brochure and three prototypes were developed.

Vantage Points: Colloquial Cambridge is an interactive map of where places are said to be, not where they are prescribed to be; generated from public Flickr photos. A sample of locations were recorded in a digital brochure.

More than Like: Playful interface concepts for visitors to express how they feel about what they see using simple gestures on a shared devices. The clapometer interface prototype invited users to tap faster than others in the group to 'collect' a museum artefact.

Aspects of Interest: Explored how attention and interest might be gauged implicitly without interacting directly with a device. A working prototype that integrated the Leap Motion gesture controller with Apple's iBeacon Bluetooth technology for micro-location, to show contextual information on an iOS device that changed with the gestures produced.

Algorithmic Tourism was a collaboration between David Chatting, Joseph Popper and Amanda Gower (Active Design Lab). The Culture Finder Project was co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge Museums and supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts - Nesta, Arts & Humanities Research Council and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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