Posted: March 29, 2013 By: Comments: 0

Wander Thoresby

At the heart of Sherwood Forest sits The Thoresby Estate, home to the Pierrepont family since the early 17th Century. Thoresby has an extremely diverse industrial and cultural heritage that has not been immune to the sweeping social changes of the last 250 years. The park is surrounded by several thousand acres of farmland and forestry, employing 50 regular staff. The majority live here and regard it as their home; many spend their working lives on the Estate. The Estate acts as a guardian of listed buildings and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Stonebridge Trust welcome 80,000 visitors per year to Thoresby but limitation on space and knowledge has always been an obstacle to the Trust being able to communicate key stories or information about the past. The Wander Thoresby project is a 7-month feasibility study, led by me, allowing me to work with Stonebridge Trust to evaluate the potential of Wander Anywhere as a means of providing innovative cultural visiting experiences, in this case using the extensive grounds of the Thoresby Estate as a digital exhibition space, making use of new technologies to transfer the Estate’s heritage to visitors. I’m also using Wander Anywhere as a way of documenting the progress of the project.

As part of the project, an exhibition Wander Thoresby: in the footsteps of Countess Manvers runs for the month of August on Thoresby Estate. This exhibition combines the Thoresby Gallery, and Wander Anywhere content placed out in the Estate grounds. In the gallery, original and reproduced artwork by Countess Manvers sits alongside a dynamic projection installation visualising the walks taken around the Estate by visitors using the Wander Anywhere app. Via Wander Anywhere, visitors hunt around the grounds to find messages left by the Countess, explaining how the Estate inspired her to create her artworks, and encouraging the visitors to create art of their own using their mobiles (and contribute this back to the exhibition). The content also leads visitors to geocaches where they can leave written messages for other visitors, also to be incorporated back into the exhibition.

The audio below is a clip from an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham I gave in August 2013, where Dr Gaby Neher introduces Countess Manvers, and I talk about the use of technology in the project.

At the Interaction and Architectural Space workshop at CHI 2014 I presented some of the insights gained from the Wander Thoresby project.

  • B. Bedwell, “Harnessing Space in Locative Media Experiences: Portals and Desire Lines.”
        author = {Bedwell, Ben},
        booktitle = {Interaction and Architectural Space Workshop at CHI2014},
        citeulike-article-id = {13315230},
        posted-at = {2014-08-04 09:51:38},
        priority = {2},
        title = {Harnessing Space in Locative Media Experiences: Portals and Desire Lines}

Wander Thoresby has been funded under the AHRC Creative Economy Exchange Project Scheme.

Read the project blog
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Client: Stonebridge Trust, University of Nottingham