As the old crusher mill, local job source for half a century, was being demolished, we set out to experiment on how to preserve place-based memory and localized cultural heritage, and on how to leverage on local cultural assets through digital storytelling and users engagement.
Phase one just finished. The local crusher mill, standing idle from a decade, carried lots of memories for local families and past workers. Lack of money to recover the building sentenced its crushing. The area, at least, undergoes restoration as a new urban park. Our vision was to make this urban park the repository and tool to access and immerse oneself visitor in the place’s layered memory.
We proposed a comprehensive project to preserve those memories, and to make them accessible to the new generations of citizens, through a digital archive and a curated narration build on it.
Participated archive: Where is memory?
We led a community participated work to retrieve and collect iconographic material, hold direct interviews, and gather historic factual records. This phase involved local schools, citizen’s associations, and passionate private citizens. We collected a meaningful archive: old and recent pictures, video interviews, opinions, documents, as well as personal affection, longing, conflicting emotions and deeply rooted memories, related to the area of focus, throughout the community.
Curated story: How to handle such a vulnerable material?
We collaborated with a narrator to build a curated story out of the collected archive, adding some more research and insight to focus on the most interesting aspects. We built the online story curating materials and text so that it can be easily enjoyed and shared to a broader audience.
Preparing the on-site experience
Next phase is to build the on-site experience to access the curated narration as well as the archive: a touristic route not only immersed in the landscape but also exhibiting local memory material on-site. We’ll be using on-site landmarks and iBeacons, and will be delivering content to individual smart mobile devices.
This first phase was focused on gathering and narrate a hyperlocal but nonetheless touching and exemplifying story of a community and the relation with its territory. From the steps taken so far we record an amazing involvement of the community in uncovering and sharing local culture and memory, whether individually or collectively collected throughout the years. The challenge now is to make a meaningful experience out of this story available to younger residents, local visitors or tourists.
Concept: Too Design Consultancy
Design, Art direction: Francesco Bagni, Ivan Pecorari
Coordination, facilitators: Francesco Bagni, Marco Denti
Web development: Gianluca Macaluso
Narration: Eva Brugnettini
Project manager: Francesco Bagni
Cristallo di Memoria website