Situating Cultural Technologies Outdoors: Empathy in the Design of Mobile Interpretation of Rock Art in Rural Britain

  • Areti GalaniEmail author
  • Aron Mazel
  • Deborah Maxwell
  • Kate Sharpe
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


Mobile applications are presently at the forefront of interpreting outdoor historical and archaeological sites. This chapter discusses the methodological approach adopted in the Rock art mobile project (RAMP) which addresses the challenge of designing and delivering mobile interpretation at three Neolithic and Early Bronze Age rock art areas in Northumberland, UK. RAMP proposes a departure from the more traditional design approaches of delivering scientific content in the form of an archaeological mobile guide. It acknowledges that rock art interpretation requires a ‘design space’, which facilitates empathy between users and designers, and allows the existing archaeological content, the public’s fascination with the ‘cryptic’ meaning of the rock art sites and the technological, environmental and personal situation of the user to be explored and to inspire technological development.


Experience-centred design Mobile Digital interpretation Design methods User experience Outdoors 



RAMP was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK, AH/H037608/1. We would like to thank all participants who attended our workshops, and the local services in Wooler and Rothbury for their hospitality. Figure 10.2 is included courtesy of England’s Rock Art.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Areti Galani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aron Mazel
    • 1
  • Deborah Maxwell
    • 2
  • Kate Sharpe
    • 3
  1. 1.International Centre for Cultural and Heritage StudiesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Edinburgh College of ArtEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Department of ArchaeologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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