On December 14th, in the city of Pompei, we celebrated the final step in this phase of the Ubiquitous Pompei project, created through a series of workshops performed together with high school students who were invited to imagine the digital future of their city.
This has been an incredible experience for us. The possibility to work in tight contact with young students and to become enablers for their awareness of the possibilities offered by technologies and networks has been an amazing opportunity.
We were able to explore with the students the concepts of new forms of citizenship, innovative forms of participation and collaboration, novel ways of deciding and evaluating public policies, engaging ways of narrating the stories of the places in which they live, getting people, companies and administrations involved.
The workshops were used to introduce students to the opportunities and scenarios offered by ubiquitous technologies such as augmented reality, location based media and services, and QRCodes and other digital tagging techniques. On top of that, students and educators were introduced to the MACME and NeoReality technologies, to be used in the process of imagining and creating the prototypes used to describe the digital future of the City of Pompei.
The technologies have been provided to students, educators and public administrators through an open platform. It can be found here (click to open PompeiAR, the tech platform used to create Ubiquitous Pompei).
Art is Open Source and FakePress Publishing will maintain the platform open and accessible to students/educators/administrators to allow them to continue in their journey through technological innovation: continuous experiments will be performed (and so don’t be surprised if, sometimes, test content pops up on the linked website: it means that students are actually working on it, experimenting on their city’s future) and, possibly, be transformed into real-life scenarios.
The event on December 14th has been a wonderful experience and a chance to finally get together with all involved actors to evaluate the results of our efforts.
During the event, a commission composed by Derrick de Kerckhove, Giampiero Gramaglia, Claudio Alfano, Maria Pia Rossignaud and Antonio Irlando experienced the presentations of the projects created by the students, introduced by Oriana Persico and then presented directly by the young innovators. After the presentations the commission evaluated the prototypes produced during the project and assigned an award of distinction to the project which implemented an ubiquitous book dedicated to the ancient “social networks” found in Pompei’s ruins, where people inscribed graffiti messages about their daily life and full of useful information; An augmented reality application allows you to read these graffiti by framing them in your smartphone and, thus, to translate them from latin into your own language, to discover the lives of ancient Pompeians and engage an experiment in atemporality by being able to comment the ancient graffiti and open up a dialogue across time.
All students were awarded a certificate of participation to the project.
We definitely wish to thank the Public Administration of the City of Pompei – and especially Claudio Alfano, the Vice-Mayor of the City of Pompei and Town Councillor for Technological Innovation, and Mayor Claudio D’Alessio – for embracing with such energetic enthusiasm the vision proposed through this project, and by making us feel so welcome and appreciated in our efforts to discover, together with students and educators, the positive opportunities which the digital future can bring closer to us, and helping us to develop our cities, relations, jobs and environments.
And we sincerely wish to thank the students and professors at the Liceo Socio-pedagogico E. Pascal and the Istituto Bartolo Longo, the two schools which joined us in this wonderful experience: you have been so nice to have dedicated us some of your time and energies, and so wonderful to have perfectly understood the sincerity with which we propose our ideas and skills.
And, of course, we wish to thank MediaDuemila and Associazione Amici di Media Duemila, for creating the “McLuhan Incontra Pompei” project and, thus, making this all possible, and prof. Derrick de Kerckhove for leading our visions.
The Ubiquitous Pompei project, as well as the concepts produced by the students, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.