Monday, April 15, 2013

TweekIrishHeritage: What Describes the Cultural Heritage of Ireland?

As part of a DMARC initiative included in the weeklong Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, I (Laura Maye) hosted a Twitter experiment online for anyone in the world to take part in. The event took place on the 23rd March 2013 from 11am – 5pm GMT. The experiment was run from Faber Studios, Limerick, Ireland at the same time, and the studios were open to the public. The experiment took the form of a game entitled TweekIrishHeritage; in this game, participants were asked what they thought best described the cultural heritage of Ireland.

The goal of this research was to explore the involvement of onsite and remote audiences in the broadcast of a live event relating to cultural heritage that required minimum participant effort. In order to gather participants, the event was advertised on several Facebook pages, and a Facebook event was created to promote it.

On the game interface, there were three stick men and three destinations: a pub, a landmark and a museum. To partake in the game, participants had to tweet a keyword to move their chosen stick man to his destination: #irepubculture1 for pubs; #irelandmark2 for landmarks; and #iremuseum3 for museums. Once a stick man reached his destination, some information about a pub, landmark or museum appeared on screen and the game reset.

I built a very small prototype of a 6 x 1 LED matrix to provide visualisations of the votes. The green lights represented the votes for pubs, the red lights represented the votes for landmarks, and the amber lights represented the votes for museums. At the beginning of the game, pubs were winning by a long shot (see figure below)!

A total of thirteen people participated in the event; three of these people were onsite participants, and ten were online participants. Some participants posted more than one tweet and voted for more than one category.

At the end of the game, the results demonstrated that more people thought landmarks describe the cultural heritage of Ireland. Hey, I’m just as surprised as you are; however, there is nothing nicer than heading to Dun Aonghas on Inis Mór for a peaceful break or strolling around the blissful terrains near the Burren, Co. Clare.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Design Jam Limerick

This year’s Design Jam Limerick will be held on 17th April 2013 starting at 3pm at the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick. This event promises to introduce some creative challenges to all participants. Everyone is invited to participate in the Design Jam! Attendees will be faced with a user experience challenge themed around Limerick’s cultural heritage. Laura Maye (PhD student working on the meSch project) and Alan Ryan (3rd year Digital Media Design) are the organisers of this year’s Design Jam Limerick.

Design Jams are non-profit, one-day design events where groups of people come together to engage in user experience challenges. Anyone can participate in a Design Jam. They are held in several locations internationally each year. Last year, Limerick hosted its first, very successful and fun Design Jam themed around turning Limerick into fab city. Design ideas explored on the day aimed to introduce concepts that would produce a more positive atmosphere in Limerick. The very first Design Jam in Ireland was organized by Daniel Beere and William Kennedy (at the time final year students in Digital Media Design) in April 2012. It was followed by Design Jam Dublin in September 2012, organized by the same Daniel Beere and William Kennedy, joined by Eamonn Finn (also a Digital Media Design alumnus).

This year’s Design Jam Limerick aims to bring together participants from different backgrounds to work together on a very relevant theme for Limerick, especially since it was designated Ireland’s first city of culture for 2014.

Design Jam Limerick will be themed around the cultural heritage of Limerick. Limerick is a very rich city from a cultural heritage perspective, and many of its hidden gems are very little known to the public. This year’s challenge will be to devise design ideas to promote and encourage the public to engage with Limerick’s cultural heritage.

Admission is free, but reserving a place at is necessary. Sponsorship for the event will also be greatly appreciated. Contact if you are able to contribute or send us a donation through the Eventbrite facility!

Many thanks to Dr. Gabriela Avram, who supported the initiative of hosting a Design Jam in Limerick since its inception in 2012!