University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Ways of Seeing the English Domestic Interior, 1500-1700: the case of digital decorative textiles
Catherine Richardson, Tara Hamling, Graeme Earl, Maria Hayward

Last modified: 2012-01-02


This paper will introduce the funding from a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Funded research network that will investigate peoples’ experience of household life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – the time in which Shakespeare was writing – and consider how we might use this information to enhance our experience of visiting historic properties in the twenty-first century. The network will use the latest developments in computer science and cognitive science in order to understand how the domestic interior was experienced in early modern England. The network has brought together researchers in the humanities and sciences, conservators, museums curators and heritage professionals, including individuals from English Heritage, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Historic Royal Palaces and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The participants are experimenting with, for instance, virtual reality environments that recreate historic atmospheric effects and eye tracking equipment that measures where and for how long we look at our surroundings, and see how this technology might be used to reconstruct historical perception. In order to make the task more manageable, we are going to focus on a specific case study – ‘how did early modern men and women respond to decorative textiles in their houses?’

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