CrowdMemo: Urban Informatics for heritage preservation

CrowdMemo is my latest project linking education and mobile technologies. It is also a common, which means that anybody in the world can replicate the experience.

The first prototype was tested in an Argentine town “Arequito” during the first week of April 2012. The experience has been documented in the official blog. The first replica took place in “Pujato”, another town in Argentina and it was coordinated by Anaclara Dallavalle. She created this blog to write about the experience. You can also organize a Crowdmemo in your own community. Go ahead, you have all my support!

What’s Crowdmemo?

It is a project that allows citizens to protect the public space or the meaningful spaces through collective memory. Using mobile technologies, school students conduct research along with their families and peers in order to find out which are the important spaces that collect the cultural heritage of their community. They also contact the elderly who can tell the anecdotes about these places and, along with them, produce, shoot and edit micro-documentaries about each location or topic. Documentaries are filmed with compact technologies such as digital cameras and mobile phones.

Videos are uploaded to the cloud. QR codes linking to each video are created and located on the façade (in the shape of a commemorative plaque) of those spaces that the community consider meaningful and therefore deserve protection/recognition through crowdsourced memory.

Scanning the QR codes anybody can discover the history, the memory and the culture of the community in situ. On the other hand, the project proposes a virtual situ through google maps.

Crowdmemo is a hacking device aimed to empower citizens to recuperate the public space (now in hands of advertisement) through memory and creation. Crowdmemo is a transdisciplinary project that connects the young and the old, the micro and the macro, the individual and the collective, the physical and the digital.

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About Mara Balestrini

Mara Balestrini is a “cultural technologist” and a PhD candidate at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities [http://www.cities.io/]. She believes that ubiquitous technologies can empower citizens to create in a collaborative way and transform society. In order to test this idea she has developed and collaborated in many projects across Latin America and Europe such as Taller de celumetrajes, an itinerant film school using mobile devices; MobilePOEMES3gp, an installation for digital citizen-generated poetry; MobileCells NOW, a user-generated mobile app to celebrate indie culture in Barcelona; or CrowdMemo.org, a smart-education prototype to augment the physical space with the crowdsourced memories of the community, among others. Mara holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications, a postgraduate degree in Media Arts and a MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (UPF, Barcelona, Spain). Mara is a strategic planner at Ideas for change where she consults on Smart cities, citizen driven innovation and open business models. She also manages the digital communication of the We are not ants social innovation network. Since 2010, she is an advisor at CCCB Lab, Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, where she consults on how to enhance expositions and participation using new technologies. She has worked as a digital and video journalist, has been a university lecturer and an assistant researcher at the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI), at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where she investigated on Human Computer Interaction, Ubicomp and Computing Supported Collaborative Learning. To read about Mara’s research project, visit: http://www.cities.io/project/encouraging-prosocial-behaviour-through-technology/

5 comments

  1. Jerri Lynn Hogg

    The link to the official blog seems to be broken.

  2. Pingback: Salimos en el blog de la creadora de Crowdmemo! « replay

  3. Pingback: Resumen del debate. Sobre “apps per a una nova cultura en el CCCB” « Transmedia

  4. Pingback: Understanding Sustained Community Engagement | The order of bits

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