Thursday, 28 October 2021
Visitors to COP26 are being given the unique opportunity to create and share personalised digital content from the summit to engage others in the climate conversation.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab have teamed up with interactive artists at Blast Theory to create a ‘Gift’, using a digital platform that allows visitors to make and share personalised digital content.
The project is funded by UKRI and visitors will be able to scan a QR code in the UKRI exhibit hall which will open the platform and start the digital Gift giving experience.
Gift draws on the practice of gifting as a way to facilitate personalisation and social sharing in museums and exhibitions. It will allow visitors to define their own journey through COP26 by encouraging them to create a bespoke tour of the summit for a friend or loved one, focusing on the climate issues and themes they think they will be interested in.
Nick Tandavanitj from Blast Theory explains: “Gift takes the deeply personal process of choosing, making and giving a gift to someone you love and transposes this to the experience of exploring exhibitions, museums and galleries.
“COP26 is a context where the ideas that are shared will potentially have a global impact. So, for COP26, we’re rewriting Gift to invite delegates and the public to reflect on someone they love as they explore the exhibitions and displays of the conference. What are the things they find that will be important to someone they love? We hope this will be an opportunity for those attending to share the experience with those close to them and remain focused on what is crucial in the context of the climate emergency.”
Gift has been developed as part of a three-year research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to explore the potential of virtual museums in establishing meaningful user experiences which allow for personal, complex and emotional encounters with art and cultural heritage.
It’s really exciting to have Gift at COP26. Making an exhibition a shared experience not only extends the reach of COP26 and its important topics and themes, but is also a way for visitors to look at it from a different perspective – through the eyes of someone they love. This may make them think more deeply or differently about a climate issue, or lead them to look at something entirely new.
Gift has already been successfully deployed at a number of museums in the UK and Europe and is now a permanent feature at Brighton and Hove Museum where it has replaced their traditional audio guide.
More information is available from Professor Steve Benford at the University of Nottingham on Steve.Benford@nottingham.ac.uk
Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Quicklink fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at Jubilee campus. For further information please contact a member of the Press Office on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email
For up to the minute media alerts,
follow us on Twitter
Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and
disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to
REF 2014. We have
six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.