Workshop on the Co-Design of Digital Experiences in Archaeology, 1-2 April, 2019

Join us in York in April 2019 for a 2-day workshop exploring co-design for digital archaeology/heritage projects…


Co-design of digital experiences in archaeology
Designing with and for your audience… join us in York to develop user-driven digital experiences for archaeology and heritage. Photo thanks to Sarah Drewell and the York Young Archaeologists’ Club (

Francesca Dolcetti, Rachel Opitz, and myself are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a workshop in York in April on digital experience co-design for archaeologists and heritage practitioners. Generously sponsored by the EU Cost Action ARKWORK, and linked to our forthcoming roundtable on User Experience at the CAA conference in Poland, this two-day event will entail small groups working together through a four-phase model (case study description, experience design, prototyping, & evaluation), towards the creation and critique of mock-up digital archaeology/heritage experiences.

We are seeking a small group of interested participants to join us for this expenses-paid workshop on 1-2 April. To be eligible, you must be a member of ARKWORK, and you can apply to join via ARKWORK’s ‘join us’ page. We are particularly keen to support participants from Inclusiveness Target Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

Please read below for a fuller description of the intent of the workshop, its schedule, and how to apply. The deadline for expressions of interest is 16 December. We hope to host you in York!

Co-Design of Digital Experiences in Archaeology, 1-2 April, 2019

King’s Manor, University of York, York, UK

User experience (UX) is a critical component of effectively mobilizing legacy datasets and collections in archaeology. In this sense, it is crucial to the success of the discipline as a scholarly, professional and pedagogical pursuit. However, our understandings of UX in archaeology, and our tools to facilitate UX design and evaluation, are arguably negligible. This workshop is focused on the interdisciplinary co-creation and user testing of digitally-mediated experiences geared at archaeological sites and collections. It aims to provide a forum for testing the benefits of design strategies and tools coming from the field of Participatory Design, and devising a digital publication work pipeline that involves end users and stakeholders from the outset. We seek to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners working in the field of archaeological knowledge production, use and communication.

The activities proposed here will provide practical experiences on how to integrate archaeological data, storytelling and digital platforms to encourage professional and wider public engagement with the past. Moreover, the workshop aims to foster reflections on the importance of evaluation and iterative design, especially within the prototyping phase, to create experiences bespoke to diverse users’ needs and expectations.

The workshop is organised as a two-day event with participants working in 4 groups, structured in four phases:

  • case study description: each group will work on a preselected case study and articulate its basic information and available sources (metadata/paradata);
  • experience design: each group will define both contents and intended audience, what kind of message they intend to convey and how to structure the experience;
  • prototyping: each group will build a 2D/3D paper mock-up to visualise the experience and make it tangible;
  • evaluation: each group will act as end users and cross-evaluate other groups’ experiences.

1 April

9.30-10.00 introductions

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-11.00 introduction to the aim and structure of workshop activities

11.00-12.30 activity 1: case study description

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-15.30 activity 2: experience design

15.30-16.00 coffee break

16.00-17.00 discussion

19.00 Social dinner

2 April

9.30-10.00 resume activities

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-12.30 activity 3: prototyping

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-16.00 activity 4: evaluation

16.00-16.30 coffee and final discussion

Call for participants

We are looking for 16 participants who

  • are working on projects focused on the creation of digital resources related to archaeological collections and heritage sites;
  • have research interests in UX design, UX evaluation and participatory design fields.
  • Are a member of COST Action ARKWORK.  If you are interested in joining the action please contact the workshop organisers, and submit an expression of interest at

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please send a short expression of interest (no more than 150 words) to Francesca Dolcetti (

Deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 16 December 2018.

Participation to this event is open to Arkwork members only. If you are interested in joining the Action please contact the workshop organisers, and submit an expression of interest at

3rd Visualisation in Archaeology Workshop, 21-22 October 2010

I have been a bit absent lately, grappling with start-of-term teaching and research commitments, but I wanted to quickly note that we’re preparing to host the 3rd Visualisation in Archaeology workshop on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 October in Southampton.  The format of the event has changed slightly, as we have invited various speakers to give position statements on particular topics which will then be opened up to ½ day-long sessions of debate and brainstorming.  We have the intention of live-streaming the event through our VIA website, although the logistics of this process are still being sorted out.

The line-up of speakers for the workshop is really spectacular, including Martyn Barber, Kate Giles, Sudeshna Guha, Janet Hodgson, Jeremy Huggett, Andy Jones, Orlando Mathias, Costas Papadopoulos, Angela Piccini, Jason Quinlan, Ian Russell, John Swogger, Gemma Tully, Tim Webmoor, Helen Wickstead, Kelvin Wilson, Justine Wintjes.

In other words, accompanied by the expertise of our chairs (Stephanie Moser, Sam Smiles, Simon James and Graeme Earl), the governmental, commercial, museological, artistic and academic sectors are all well-represented here.  Alongside the others, I’m also going to be giving a statement on the ‘rewards’ of archaeological visual media, with reference to my PhD research on the founding of London’s Institute of Archaeology.  I’ve posted below the general workshop abstract, and do check back on our VIA page for links to (hopefully) our live-stream.

3rd Visualisation in Archaeology Workshop, October 2010

After two years of dialogue between more than 100 specialists, the Visualisation in Archaeology project (VIA) is looking back at the key conceptual concerns over visual practice that have simmered throughout our 2008 and 2009 Workshops. Grounded in the recommendations of VIA’s contributors, our final Workshop in October 2010 looks both to scrutinise and to anticipate future developments around those theoretical and methodological matters that have repeatedly animated VIA’s audiences: Creation, Communication, Circulation & Consumption.

At stake are four overarching questions:
How is visualisation involved in creating new lines of research, compiling archaeological data sets, navigating information and driving forward enquiry—and what, then, are the responsibilities of visual creators?

How do images communicate ideas, knowledge and emotion, and how do authorship and history affect these communicative processes? Of particular interest here is analysis of the content and history of imagery.

How — and with what consequences — does the circulation of visual media intersect with professional structures of funding, administration, conduct, legitimacy and expertise? Of concern here are the means and effects of image distribution.

How do viewers consume and react to visual representations, and what can be done to hone visual skillsets among professional and general audiences?

Opening with a series of short position statements by invited speakers, the 2010 Workshop seeks to explore these questions through four chaired sessions of debate and brainstorming. In responding to feedback from former workshop contributors for targeted conceptual exploration and more structured and intensive discussion periods, we look here to begin laying out a solid intellectual framework for future enquiry into visualisation in archaeology articulated by key scholars in the field.