PATINA: Personal Architectonics Through INteractions with Artefacts

The PATINA project aims to revolutionise the design of technologies for supporting research. It was awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the RCUK Digital Economy programme and will run for three years from June 2010.

The project is designed to be transformative in terms of research practice. In archaeological terms it will break down the divide between the physical interactions between researchers and objects, and digital information. The technologies used will be trialled ‘in the wild’ on a series of extremely important archaeological sites, and in our labs and libraries. This project further builds on the strong research links between the School of Humanities and School of Electronics and Computer Science.

Current digital research support systems take attention away from the material that they describe. PATINA will provide researchers with new opportunities to create research spaces that emphasise the primacy of research material, and support the sharing of research activities as well as results. Through recording of research practice the project will also enable you to ‘walk in the footsteps’ of other researchers, and explore how the provenance of your developing ideas links with theirs through shared objects that exist both online and in the real world.

The consortium will build wearable prototypes that can enhance research objects by projecting related information back into their research space. These technologies will also provide the means to capture, record, and replay the researcher’s activities to support intuitive archiving, sharing and publication of interactions with research objects. The design of the technologies will draw on theoretical frameworks of space developed from studies of research spaces as diverse as libraries, museums, homes and archaeological fieldwork sites.

The project is led by the University of Bristol in collaboration with the Universities of Brighton, Greenwich, Newcastle, Southampton and Swansea. It includes involvement from Microsoft Research, Nokia Research and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The University of Southampton library are providing one of the test environments and also direct input from the Academic Liaison Librarian for Archaeology.


At Southampton:

  • Angeliki Chrysanthi
  • Enrico Costanza (Electronics and Computer Science)
  • Graeme Earl
  • Tom Frankland
  • Mike Jewell (Electronics and Computer Science)
  • Luc Moreau (Electronics and Computer Science)