Part of Thalis program, the DeMuCiV research project deals with the historical and anthropological study of urban phenomenon in Volos, the creation of databases on the later and on the modern history of the city and its inhabitants and the production of databases and interactive applications aimed at the wide dissemination of the research findings through the creation of Volos City Museum. The research is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Archives, Museums and Libraries of Volos Municipality. The building that will house the future city museum is located in the
historic quarter of the city, called the Palia.

The research project is financed by the Ministry of Education and the European Union.

The proposed project encompasses the following:

1. A historical and anthropological research project that will highlight the city’s social structure, economic and productive activities and its relationship with its surroundings within a local, regional, national, Mediterranean, European and global framework.

2. A comparative urban planning and architectural study of the city of Volos as a Mediterranean space.

3. Research on the design and realisation of models for the management and further exploitation of the material that will be gathered and of the findings of the research for educational and other related purposes.

4. Research on the exploitation of new technologies with a view to presenting and propagating the findings of the proposed project, on a standard basis, in Volos City Museum,
which hasn’t finished yet.

This project seeks to contribute to on-going academic debates on the use of new technologies in the representation of the past and their role in transforming the public uses and educational potential of historical knowledge.

The innovative aspect of our efforts lies in the following areas:

Research design and methodology. The scope of this research project transgresses multiple disciplinary boundaries as every step of the investigation is dependent on the collaboration between social sciences, humanities, architecture and urban planning.

Knowledge production and interactive digital mediation. The traditional diffusion practices of scholarly historical knowledge and ethnographic findings are confined to academia and formal educational institutions. Our research aims at providing innovative practices of producing and mediating historical and anthropological knowledge in forms that enable access by multiple publics (museum visitors, educators, students, artists, etc.) This will be partly achieved through the use of narrative and digital media that enable the audio-visualisation of historical information and by the elaboration of open-ended narrative structures that provide users with contemporaneously lived experiences of the urban past. A major goal of the proposed project is to envision and apply innovative practices of informal historical education and to provide a platform for future educational and training activities and collaborations with teachers, students, artists, cultural practitioners, administrators, etc.

Museum conceptualisation and design. The museum is viewed as a translocal public space. This research project aims at initiating innovative practices of museum design in Greece in so far as the exhibits that we are proposing are not, as it is often the case, derived from already existing collections of items and information but on the findings from on-going interdisciplinary original research. Our research groups consider the museum as a translocal public space that is constructed by – and accommodates – empirical and applied research processes and findings. The translocality is provided by the interaction of multiple levels of knowledge production (research), presentation (exhibits) and use (museum visits, education, cultural training etc.)