Digital Living History Lab

Bringing together heritage, new technologies, and broad audiences in exciting ways.

The Context — Hafod Morfa Copperworks

The Digital Living History Lab builds on the work to develop the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks in Swansea and aims to explore and advance the role of the digital economy in;
  • Bringing heritage to life in novel ways for broader audiences
  • Increasing engagement and accessibility of heritage using the latest technology
  • Securing the future of assets threatened by funding cuts by offering more cost effective digital access and by creating new economic opportunities for sustaining public access to heritage assets.

Initial Themes

  1. The Visitor Experience especially Shared Experience and Serendipitous Discovery Applications which encourage new forms of playful communal interaction with heritage sites and in which exciting things also happen, occasionally yet continuously over time.
  2. Co-located Experiences Applications which enable a connection to heritage assets wherever people are, before, after, during or without even visiting a site, and which increase accessibility of knowledge and information to reach new audiences.
  3. Creating Value and Generating Revenues Engaging new audiences, monetising heritage assets and developing new income streams to ensure heritage assets continue to be maintained and accessible to the public. This also includes digitally enhanced events.

Current Developments


  • Moving Beyond Accessibility – accessibility will be central to every initiative from its conception. We value every one as contributors and consumers.
  • Creating the best platform. We need participants to consider what platform their proposals need so that we can identify the common requirements that will drive future applications.
  • Perpetuating the experience – a site like this has so many stories to tell and we want to attract people to visit/get involved again and again.
  • Sustaining the applications – We need to be clear that applications will be kept going at the site so will need to consider resource issues, possible monetisation and crowd drawing potential.
  • Interlocking authentic histories and realities – we need to bind together the stories of the diverse people connected to the site, contributors/consumers, young/old, academic/community, local/global to explore and interact with the whole story of the site.
  • Connection, interaction and play – technology should bring people closer to the site and encourage a more intimate interaction and sense of connection with it. It should offer just the right amount of learning.
  • Wow! – Applications need to ‘wow’ people, facilitate an emotional connection to the site, induce awe! 

If you are interested in contributing to and shaping the digital living history lab, consider applying to the Digital Living History Lab Sandpit taking place at Liberty Stadium in Swansea on April 11th & 12th 2017.
For more information on the lab or the sandpit contact Stuart Griffin;