Digital Living History Lab Sandpit

Bringing Heritage to life using digital technology; Digital Reverberations at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks

Save the Date

April 11th and 12th 2017, Liberty Stadium Swansea.
We are inviting expressions of interest to participate in a two day interactive workshop to advance the role of the digital economy in bringing heritage to life for broader audiences and creating new economic opportunities for sustaining public access to heritage assets. This event is part of Swansea's Digital Living History Laboratory a mostly virtual and occasionally physical Laboratory focussed on the development of the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site. Swansea University has been working on regenerating this unique site with the City and County of Swansea over four years, helping it to become a vibrant place for people to visit, live in, and work in. The Hafod-Morfa Copperworks offers unique opportunities and challenges for researchers and practitioners of digital humanities and user experience technologies which can advance good practice in this and other sites around the world;
  • It represents a powerful and important history for Swansea, Wales, and the world yet it is barely interpreted.
  • It holds significance for thousands of people and connects to memories, family histories, and local and global communities.
  • The 12 remaining structures on the now aesthetically pleasing site are stimulating yet struggle to tell the story of the noise, activity, heat, smell and dangers once found on the site. It needs some help from digital technology.
  • It has just won a major award from the Heritage Lottery Foundation and is poised to become a base for a significant visitor attraction and whisky distillery as the first phase of a major mixed-use development.


  • John Shearer - Lincoln – With interests around “creative play in public spaces” his research walks between Computer Science and the Arts.
  • Steve Benford – Nottingham - working with artists to explore how provocative and even uncomfortable interactions can provoke deep interpretations.
  • Ben Bedwell – Nottingham - digital gifting and museum experiences
  • Victoria Tillotson –interested in playable cities & Bristol Pervasive Media Studio
  • Posie Poebright – Splash and Ripple - interactive immersive experience powered by game design. Good example here that we could translate to sit very easily.
  • Julie Williamson - Glasgow. – Runs the Public and Performative Interaction Group in Glasgow which seeks to re-appropriate public spaces through digital interactive art.
  • Karen Ingham - artist and emeritus professor attached to Swansea University who participated in AHRC creative exchange programme project, which they are developing at SU.
  • Cork Institute technology – User experience and digital geocaching. Partners in INTEREG project.
  • Ruth Taylor Davies – heritage consultant with local knowledge. Worked on the Blaenavon Iron Works Virtual Blast Furnace
  • Deepak Sahoo, Swansea University Interested in projecting holograms using steam and bubbles.
  • Alexander Langlands - Swansea University. Historian and TV presenter with interest in innovative ways of connecting the past, especially interactive mapping.
  • Scott Lloyd , Royal Commission on the Ancient Historic Monuments in Wales – Developed this animation of the copperworks
  • Stakeholders will include Local Historians, CHERISH–DE, Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust and City and County Of Swansea GIS mapping team, Swansea City Council Cultural Services.

Workshop Objectives

  • To get the right people together in a relaxed and inspiring environment to explore a range of creative digital technology, user experience and/or experience led computing initiatives appropriate to the site.
  • To further develop a research agenda for the Digital Living History Laboratory and identify projects suitable for seed-corn funding from the CHERISH-De project on themes including; The Visitor Experience, Co-located Experience and Generating Revenue. Funding can be allocated to pan-university projects of which SU is a member.
  • To understand and advance the role of the digital economy in heritage sites and places of significance worldwide, especially in augmenting existing heritage, enshrining accessibility for all, engaging new audiences over and over again in meaningful interactions with heritage and place, connecting physical sites with stories and identities and ensuring sustainability of heritage.

Get in touch

For further information about the event please contact one of the organisers:
  • Stuart Griffin College of Arts and Humanities
  • Thomas Reitmaier CHERISH-De Project
  • Stephen Lindsay Department of Computer Science