Joatan Preis Dutra :: Workshops :: Connecting Cities - Media Urban Lab
Joatan Preis Dutra ProfileProfile DegreesDegrees TeachingTeaching ProjectsProjects WorkshopsWorkshops

Workshops and Training Schools

Connecting Cities

Urban Media Lab: cultural hARitage in Brussels


Title Connecting Cities - Urban Media Lab
Period 13-21st June 2014
Institution iMal - center for digital cultures and technology
Location Brussels / Belgium

cultural hARitage Project

Introduction &
Technical Information
This project is part of cultural hARitage project, which combines Augmented Reality and Cultural Heritage content and have been developed in different cities & countries with the WizARt CMS Tool.

To know more about general and technical iformation regarding this project, go to the page:
Academic :: cultural hARitage

cultural hARitage


cultural hARitage in Brussels

The urban media lab The opening symposium of the connecting cities urban media lab served as an introduction to an intensive six days workshop led by artists Ali Momeni & Luciano Pinna, where selected participants produced artworks that explore new forms of urban participation, using existing mobile technologies and custom DIY devices.

The project cultural hARitage in Brussels

The spread and importance of mobile devices, as smartphones, on everyday activities is well known. It is possible to list several features that allows people to navigate and access context-aware information, such as GPS, QR code scanners, augmented reality (AR), just to mention a few.

But the combination of augmented reality and cultural heritage content it is still not clear, from the effectiveness perspective. Some apps are already displaying touristic information using AR, such as Wikitude, Tripwolf, Junaio and others.

With the Wizart CMS Tool, which combines different media files (audio, video, 3d, text, links, etc) elements with Junaio, it is possible to use AR to achieve cultural information, creating a different approach on current AR apps, which could lead for interesting investigations. One possibility, among others,  is the use of iconographic elements (combining comics characters, icons and text)  that would trigger the information according to the proximity of the user, based on GPS location.

The target content for this project is one of the official World Heritage Sites from UNESCO, placed in Brussels: the "La Grand-Place" (

This project aims to explore new tools and ways to present historical content for mobile users. The Wizart CMS Tool combined with the “Connecting Cities Urban Media Lab” seems to be an ideal scenario to experiment cultural content using AR, being a perfect opportunity to go beyond, towards something more pragmatic, and where it is possible to empirically validate some of the developed propositions, offering a unique opportunity to analyze the use of AR and Cultural Heritage content.

Project Author: Joatan Preis Dutra

Workshop Tutor: Luciano Pinna

Project URL

Watch Video Documentation

Project Teaser

Concept and Files

Media The available information is divided in several media types, categorized as: audio, text, video, comics and link (to external content). The idea was to get historical - and official - information regarding the Grand-Place, but also to show how the Grand-Place is portrayed on other media, such as comics and twitter.

Map The 12 selected media files were placed in 3 different POI (Point of Interest) spread in the square, positioned next to the content relation (when possible - as the audios about the Guilds and City Hall, for instance).

The selection of files are:

  • Audio 1: Introduction about the Grand-Place
  • Audio 2: More about the Grand-Place and Guilds
  • Audio 3: The City Hall building
  • Audio 4: Brasserie Guild
  • Comics 1: Racing Show vol 47, by Michel Vaillant
  • Photo 1: Miller's Guild detail
  • Photo 2: Stonemason's Guild detail
  • Photo 3: Illustration from 1830
  • Text 1: Short version text from UNESCO's website:
  • Text 2: Long version text from UNESCO's website
  • Twitter Link: Official twitter page using the Grand-Place Brussels as search criteria
  • Video Link: Official video from UNESCO:

Avatar Each medium has a different avatar to trigger the information.

The original concept was using media icons for this purpose. Later on, considering that the Belgium is well known by its comics production, it was tested one of their most famous comics character: Tintin, as showed in the videos bellow. Bur even considering this project as an academic/artistic and temporary experiment, it was understood that the use of such copyright character should be respected. So on the final version another comics-style character was specially created for this avatar purposes: an comics version of Charles of Lorraine, the founder of Brussels.

For each medium type, there is an action related from Charles of Lorraine, as illustrated bellow. On the AR application, was added the label of the file, in order to give an immediate feedback for the user.

On each avatar was followed the concept of finding the comics character in a action related to the media (for instance, on telephone for "audio"), plus an icon of the medium (as mentioned and illustrated before) with a text label indicating the file purpose. In this way the user can control of what will be triggered, according to their own choices.

The App To use the cultural hARitage application, first it is needed to be at the Grand-Place Brussels with Junaio App on your mobile devide (iOS or Android) and scan the following QR Code:

If you are not at Grand-Place, or even not in Brussels/Belgium, you can have a preview look on the POIs by scanning the following QR Codes, with junaio app, from any place on Earth:

cultural hARitage