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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre



My research combines material culture, heritage, and cognitive science to explore how new technologies impact heritage making processes and the interpretation processes of the past. Between 2014 and 2017 I was the recipient of a Marie Skłodowska Curie Intra European Fellowship based at the University of Cambridge and developed a project titled DIGIFACT, which has clarified the role of new technologies in the perception and understanding of cultural heritage inside museums; specifically how 3D virtual and material replicas can re-define authenticity and enhance more performative and affective museum displays. This project was in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology in Cambridge (MAA). Building on DIGIFACT and my previous doctoral study, my interest for digital replication and the concept of authenticity took a new and unexplored direction during my recent Eastern ARC Fellowship at the University of Essex, where I have developed a new programme of research aimed at using the socio-cultural potential of 3D technologies to rebuild heritage and sense of place in the aftermath of natural catastrophes. I am also collaborating with small/medium enterprises and educators to study how novel pedagogies and 3D technologies can be combined to enhance young people's engagement with their heritage in conflict afflicted countries. For the latter, I co-developed a project in Tunis, supported by the British Council Cultural Protection Fund, and in collaboration with the faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Virtual Experience company, and Rambourg Foundation; I am now co-developing similar programmes of research in Syria, Lebanon, and Uganda. My research outputs are practice-based as well as journal or book focused and I have recently been awarded a BAFTSS Practice Research Innovation award for my co-directed film "Italia Terremotata", which tells the story of resilient communities in post-earthquake Italy.


Affiliated Member, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
Lecturer in Heritage and Digital Humanities at the University of Essex, School of Philosophy and Art History and Interdisciplinary Studies Centre
Dr Paola  Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco
Not available for consultancy