Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Storytelling and material culture around the Peace Palace in The Hague

Perception of material culture, design and digital knowledge applications

2014 - 2015

The project connects objects which represent the Peace Palace in The Hague with a digital interface in order to achieve and stimulate a visual, personal storytelling on the theme of ‘War and peace, in the past and today’. Since the opening of the peace Palace in 1913 it has been represented on numerous artefacts. These objects are silent witnesses of the ideals of the Palace: guarding peace and justice on an international level. The building and the interior communicate the same message through decoration. This is in contrast to the political reality and personal experiences of war and peace.

The project is a pilot and will develop frameworks for three storylines: a storyline on universality of peace and justice; a sex and gender-related storyline; and a storyline on heritage which unites cultural diversity. These storylines will facilitate a variety of appropriation for different target groups (school children, tourists, general web-users) who will be made aware of the function and meaning of the Peace Palace.

The project will design frameworks for the storylines as high quality multi-layered digital interfaces. The interfaces will be inspired on scientific research on objects and the stories to which objects invite. With the choice for material culture around the Peace Palace the project will focus on digital interfaces in a worldwide feedback and user audience.

For scientific investigation on the history of design and material culture the project will research the digital intervention to contextualize material culture in relation to current societal issues. Properties of objects and personal experiences, as examined in anthropological studies, will be connected with the workings of up-to-date digital possibilities and esthetics of digital interfaces.

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