The multimedia installation Bologna: City of Water has won the first Heritage in Motion Best Achievement Award.

Bologna water installation wins first Heritage in Motion award

The winning project was announced during the annual conference of the European Museum Academy, which was held in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

The jury was unanimous in declaring the installation and its producer Studio Base2 winners of the award, which was established to celebrate innovation of digital technologies and social media in the field of cultural heritage.
The reconstruction of a canal that flows in the dark under the streets of the city, the installation is created by the use of large reflecting surfaces and a sophisticated fibre optic lighting system that reproduces a Wood’s lamp (ultraviolet light) effect. An interactive multimedia carpet is projected along with a series of video clips dedicated to the history of Bologna’s water system. ‘This is interwoven with ludic elements that make the experience particularly memorable,’ says a spokesperson. ‘A veritable digital full immersion in the city of water explored here in a totally unexpected manner.’
Four projectors with wide-angle zoom lenses project the water on the floor, while four high-resolution cameras with IR filters and illuminators are connected to a custom StudioBASE2 motion sensing software interface, which ‘ripples the water as visitors walk on it’. Sound is reproduced by in-ceiling speakers and four sound showers. The story of the city’s water system is told in four adjacent niches, each with an ultra short-throw projector and a holographic rear projection screen.
The installation is located in the new Museum of the History of Bologna, in a room dedicated to the theme of Bologna: City of Water, designed by the architect Mario Bellini.
It is part of the museum network Genus Bononiae, which includes eight historic buildings in the centre of Bologna, each restored and ‘reconverted to cultural uses’ by the Carisbo Foundation.
The jury declared that: “This interactive museum experience proves that an innovative approach can help to retell a traditional story and thereby create a new impetus to visit the museum. Suitable for all ages and educational without being formal. It is inviting in form and a perfect mix between information and experience.”
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