Uncovering Layers of History with Designing Worlds

2/2/10  at 7:00 AM

For those of you interested in aetheric broadcasts and in history, today's Designing Worlds may prove very interesting. We will be visiting a house in Pompeii, the city in Southern Italy that was famously destroyed by a volcano in AD79 (for more information about that, go here). But that, in fact, is only the start of the story, because we are not visiting a Second Life reconstruction of Pompeii as it is now, or even a reconstruction of Pompeii as it was prior to AD79, but a recreation of a house in Pompeii that was recreated for the Crystal Palace in 1854 – see what I mean about layers?

The Crystal Palace from the north in 1854

The Great Exhibition was a fascinating event in itself – and you can see information about it here – and we will be talking about it during the show as well. But the heart of our show is the Pompeiian Court and we’ll be exploring this and discussing contrasting attitudes to history with Gwendoline Beningborough and Lucien Kranfel, the avatars of the real life Dr Shelley Hales and Dr Nic Earle from Bristol University, the people behind this project.

Bristol University Project: Pompeiian Court at the Crystal Palace

Shelley is a Senior Lecturer in Art and Visual Culture in the Department of Classics & Ancient History, while Nic is E-Learning Co-ordinator at the Education Support Unit and we’ll be exploring – with them – a fascinating bringing together of three immersive environments, one modern, one Victorian, and the other from Ancient Rome – or, at least, a conception of Ancient Rome!

The Pompeiian Court at the Crystal Palace in 1854

And we’ll also be talking to them about how they are using different Second life tools (such as a HUD, bots and information points) to create a vibrant educational tool.

The show starts at 2pm SLT, but you should be in our Northpoint studios by 1.30pm to make sure of getting a seat. Or you can watch on the Treet live stream. And there will be gifts for all those who attend in person.

Further Reading:
Phillips, Guide to the Crystal Palace and Park, 1854: http://tinyurl.com/ykvypv4
Pictures of the original Pompeian Court on the English Heritage "Viewfinder" site, beginning here: http://tinyurl.com/yks9cdu
The Roman House and Social Identity by Shelly Hales: http://tinyurl.com/ygl5jro
(Victorian images in this article from the 1854 Guide Book to the Crystal Palace)

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