At a time of information overload, there seems to be a yearning for sensory environments and experiences that matter. While there are many placemaking efforts to optimize the planning and activation of public spaces for connection, what about heritage sites and museums? How do we shape these spaces to foster emotional connections?
Often the big stories are harder to empathize with than the small. It’s the details – the stories of everyday life – that resonate emotionally.
Calvium, an agency specializing in digital placemaking apps, used this simple concept in their Hidden Florence app, where people are invited to explore the city with modern and period maps, with vivid tales and fictional guides along the way.
They found that these stories of everyday life – class and political differences, family deaths, the cost of living – are the small things that actually draw visitors into a place, making them feel part of it, and giving them an emotional connection.
Calvium believes that in order for a project like theirs to have impact, it must be driven by genuine insight from, rather than about, the target audience. They do this by rapid prototyping, user testing, and co-creating, techniques that ensure products are intuitive, engaging, and feel authentic to their community.