Make Believe. Greece
Dr. Maria Roussou is an interaction and virtual reality designer, researcher, educator, and consultant, involved for the past 18 years in projects that combine innovative technology with education and culture. She is founder and co-director of makebelieve, an experience design and consulting company. Previously, she established (in 1998) and directed (1998-2003) the Virtual Reality Department at the Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW), a cultural heritage institution based in Athens, Greece. At FHW she was responsible for recruiting a team of artists and programmers, setting up the VR exhibits & infrastructure, and managing the research, design and development of the VR programs and related visitor experiences. For most of the nineties (1993-1997), during her extensive work with the CAVE® at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Chicago, she focused on the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments for education and the representation of cultural information. She has also collaborated with many museums, including contemporary art museums such as the Walker Art Center, to design and create interactive art education material for the Internet. Her projects and collaborations have been featured internationally at events such as SIGGRAPH (since 1993) and the Ars Electronica festival (with her artwork as part of the permanent collection of the museum), she has been a regular member of the program and organizing committees of numerous exhibitions and conferences, has lectured extensively, and serves as Expert Evaluator to the European Commission FP5 – FP7 IST Programmes. She is also on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for the Visualization of History, Massachusetts, USA, on the International Advisory Board of the Child Art Foundation, Washington DC and on the Editorial Board of the ACM Computers in Entertainment journal.
Mariaa has been teaching (since 2004) the ‘Museums and New Technologies’ graduate course at theUniversity of Athens and (since 2008) the 4th year undergraduate course in Human-Computer Interaction. She also teaches graduate level Web Design and Development and User-Centered Design for the Digital Communication and Social Media Master of Arts program at the American College of Greece. Recent research projects she has participated in include the successful CHESS Project (02/2011-04/2014), in which she led the User-Centred Design & Scenarios work package and the MAGELLAN Project (2013 – ongoing), in which she works on evaluation.
UNSW Art & Design and Director of Visualisation. Australia
Professor Sarah Kenderdine researches at the forefront of interactive and immersive experiences for museums and galleries. In widely exhibited installation works, she has amalgamated cultural heritage with new media art practice, especially in the realms of interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative. She is considered a pioneer in the field digital heritage, digital humanities and big data visualisation and is a regular keynote speaker at related forums internationally.
Sarah concurrently holds the position of Professor at UNSW Art & Design and Director of Visualisation for UNSW’s interdisciplinary Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre (EPICentre). She’s Deputy Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) and Director of the Lab for Innovation in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (iGLAM) and a co-Director, iCinema Research Centre. She continues a life-long position as head of Special Projects for Museum Victoria, Australia (2003—) and was the Director of Research at the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment (ALiVE), City University of Hong Kong (2010-2015). Sarah was elected President of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (aaDH) in 2016.