GIFT is a three-year research project that started in January 2017. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 727040.

A main challenge with the development of virtual museums is establishing meaningful user experiences which allow for personal, complex and emotional encounters with art and cultural heritage. The GIFT project approaches this challenge through two suggestions for meaningful personalization through digital gifting and emotional appropriation: Technologies that accommodate the complex ways in which users may confront art and heritage content, and which engage users to participate and share experiences that are emotional and profound.

The GIFT project will achieve this through a practice-based research collaboration between prominent artists, museums and researchers, to develop, test and validate two ground-breaking prototypes that allow visitors to create and share highly personal encounters with digital cultural heritage. Drawing on learning from this process we will also develop a framework with theory, tools, design guidelines and best practice recommendations for creating meaningful personalization of hybrid virtual museum experiences.

The GIFT consortium includes leading artists and researchers with a long history of successful collaborations, who will be working with a panel of lead users from prominent European museums, to develop theoretical and practical advances with great impact for the cultural heritage sector and European society.

By enabling more engaging hybrid virtual/physical museum experiences, we will contribute to increasing citizens' curiosity and engagement. The hybrid format will also help making both virtual museum experiences as well as physical visits more engaging and attractive, thus contributing to economic growth through ticket sales as well as digital sales. By providing frameworks that help non-technical experts in the heritage sector to build and experiment with meaningful personalization of digital cultural heritage, the project gives the sector tools to build and innovate further.

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Project leads

Anders Sundnes Løvlie (coordinator)

Assistant Professor, Center for Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen

Matt Adams

Artist, Blast Theory

Steve Benford

Professor, Mixed Reality Laboratory at University of Nottingham

Jane Finnis

Chief Executive, Culture24

Nicole McNeilly

Business Development Coordinator, Europeana

Bogdan Spanjevic

General Manager, NextGame

Annika Waern

Professor, Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University

Project staff

Ben Bedwell

Research Fellow, Mixed Reality Laboratory at University of Nottingham

Sarah Brin

PhD Fellow, Department of Digital Design and Communication at IT University of Copenhagen

Andrija Despotovic

Account Executive, NextGame

Ju Row Farr

Artist, Blast Theory

Pablo Uceda Gómez

Operations Officer, Europeana

Kirsty Jennings

Business Director, Blast Theory

Dan Lamont

Company Manager, Blast Theory

Sejul Malde

Research Manager, Culture24

Nobu Mumba

Europeana Campaign Manager, Europeana

Mace Ojala

Scientific Assistant, Center for Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen

Martin Pichlmair

Assistant Professor, Center for Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen

Milena Popova

Business Development Manager, Europeana

Paulina Rajkowska

Doctoral student, Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University

Karin Ryding

PhD Fellow, Center for Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen

Miguel Sicart

Associate Professor, Center for Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen

Nick Tandavanitj

Artist, Blast Theory

Charlie Yetton

Artists' Assistant, Blast Theory

Advisory Board

David Crombie

European Research Coordinator, HKU University of Arts Utrecht

Andrew D. Morrison

Head of Research, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Frans Mäyrä

Head of Game Research Lab and Vice Dean, University of Tampere