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VRtefacts: Performative Substitutional Reality with Museum Objects

Spence, Jocelyn; Darzentas, Dimitrios Paris; Huang, Yitong; Cameron, Harriet R.; Beestin, Eleanor; Benford, Steve


Dimitrios Paris Darzentas

Yitong Huang

Harriet R. Cameron

Eleanor Beestin

Dunford Chair in Computer Science


We explore how a combination of manipulations and transitions can extend Substitutional Reality to create a highly personal Virtual Reality experience. Our design aimed to meet two challenges faced by museums: the limitations of object handling and the desire for visitors to create their own interpretations. Using a Research-through-Design methodology, we built a performance-led Mixed Reality (MR) experience that lets museum visitors physically handle 3D prints or scans of museum objects to share personal stories about them. The stories are recorded and donated to the participating museum. We reflect on the complex design and the findings gained from a two-day in-the-wild deployment to explore engagement and disruption through manipulations of physicality, visuals, and scale; the transitions between spaces; and a trajectory of storytelling performance. We chart a wide scope for Performative Substitutional Reality and draw implications for VR, MR, and performance-led research in any context.


Spence, J., Darzentas, D. P., Huang, Y., Cameron, H. R., Beestin, E., & Benford, S. (2020). VRtefacts: Performative Substitutional Reality with Museum Objects. In DIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (627-640).

Conference Name DIS '20: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2020
Conference Location Eindhoven Netherlands
Start Date Jul 6, 2020
End Date Jul 20, 2020
Acceptance Date Apr 23, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 6, 2020
Publication Date Jul 6, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 24, 2020
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages 627-640
Book Title DIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
ISBN 9781450369749
Public URL
Publisher URL


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