Activities / Project Phases
Discover the Main Topic
The main Goal in this phase was to collect media about the objects taken from each city. Every team member has to find good quality images of the selected object as well as find out some basic data about.
Florence: 1) Banti Hospital; 2) Santa Maria Novella Train Station; 3) Ex-Supercinema Theatre
Bielefeld: 1) Burgerpark; 2) LOOM shopping mall; 3) Boulevard Bielefeld
Roermond: 1) Arresthuis; 2) Train Station.
For the historical description of each place you can refer to the section 'Understand'.
We have explored cultural assets from our cities and found out a lot of interesting facts and figures about them. View the attached files!
Banti Hospital: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/banti_hospital.zip
Santa Maria Novella train station: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Santa_Maria_Novella_Train_Station.zip
Supercinema (vintage images): /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Supercinema_vintage_images.zip
Supercinema (present images): /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Supercinema_images.zip
Supercinema outside: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Supercinema_outside_I.zip
Supercinema outside II: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Supercinema_outside_II.zip
Places Roermond: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Roermond_assets.zip
Burgerpark images: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Burgerpark_images.zip
LOOM shopping mall: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Loom%20.key
Young population in the 3 cities of Florence, Roermond and Bielefeld.
Florence: 1) Banti Hospital; 2) Santa Maria Novella Train Station; 3) Ex-Supercinema Theatre
Bielefeld: 1) Burgerpark; 2) LOOM Shopping Mall; 3) Boulevard Bielefeld
Roermond: 1) Cuypershuis; 2) Train Station.
Technology and Engineering
A new place, where the entertainment for children is linked to art. A unique mix of impressive nature, bright colors and a building rich in history.
A building left to itself, with a long, interesting history. Over time it has become a “work of art” thanks to its murals made by lots of young people and unknown artists.
A wonderful park for everybody, to relax from the stressing routine of everyday life. A very well-tended park, full of weeping willows and with a small lake in the center.
Cuypershuis Inspiration Description
Huge school objects, becoming fun and entertainment for children. The central object is a pair of compasses located in the center of the lake, after the one in front of Cuypershuis, Roermond museum.
The train station in EuRoFloBie is a mix of iconic pieces in Roermond, Florence and Bielefeld.
The train station contains:
- the building
- the shops
- the decoration
A place for family and friends. In this mix you can see the cinema from Bielefeld, the cinema from Florence and the hotel from Roermond.
Mathematics in Teaching
Former Banti Sanatorium. A “giant” abandoned in Florentine woods
History and Architecture:
This building, hidden in the woods on the hills surrounding Florence, is located a few steps from the huge Pratolino Medicean Park, also known as Villa Demidoff Park. The former Banti sanatorium – like “the Giant” or the Apennine Colossus, the big statue of the Apennine made by Giambologna between 1579 and 1589 – even if “out of scale”, seems perfectly integrated with the Florentine hills around it. The Apennine Colossus shows the power and the magnificence of the Medici, the former Banti sanatorium reveals the social approach of rationalist architecture in Italy.
The hospital was built to cope with the sanitary emergency related to the spread of tuberculosis in the 1930s. The location was chosen for its distance from the city, for the surrounding hills and its clean air.
The construction of the hospital started in 1934 when Demidoff family, the owner of Pratolino Medicean Villa, gave their land for the project. The engineers Giocoli and Romoli - members of the Istituto Nazionale Fascista della Previdenza Sociale, the social security service of that time – were asked to build the hospital. It is interesting to notice that Elena Luttazzo, Romoli’s wife, took part in the planning of the building. Elena Luttazzi was a symbol of women’s emancipation since she was the first Italian woman to get a degree in Architecture and to work as an architect – considered exclusively a man’s job. Moreover, she was one of the most prominent exponents of rationalist architecture.
Banti sanatorium is a significant building of Nineteenth Century Tuscan architecture, it is one of the first buildings made completely of reinforced concrete, belonging to the current of ‘brutalism’ (deriving form béton brut -raw concrete- first associated in architecture with Le Corbusier) characterized by the roughness of fair-faced concrete. The building, in its rational and functional style, is composed of two big turrets connected by a transversal wing. It is a high building that, being surrounded by rolling hills, looks like ‘a giant in the woods’.
At the end of WWII, when the spread of tuberculosis diminished, the sanatorium became first (until the 1980s) a hospital and then (until 1997) a refugee accommodation centre having mainly a sanitary and social function. Afterwards INAIL – the National Institute for Insurance against Industrial Injuries- wanted to buy the building to transform it into a hotel, but this never happened.
In the last few years Banti Hospital has been the target for every kind of vandalism, including a fire in 2016. Now it is completely abandoned and closed to the public, therefore people can go there at their own risk.
City goal and new functionalization
The former Banti hospital is not only an abandoned hospital, full of dust and rubble, but a wonderful old building that could become a huge creativity centre.
Everything you can find inside, such as prescriptions, medical records, and a lot of different objects, in addition to the walls and the furniture covered with drawings and graffiti, could become a great strength for the project. If it were completely and massively restructured and restyled, being so spacious, it could become an interesting location for fashion events, and it would be a great achievement for the Florentine area. It could become the perfect space for fashion shows or photographic exhibitions, an excellent historical and artistic background to the fashion world.
Moreover, this space could become a location suitable for research on subjects such as innovation, fashion, and design. Training courses could be held there, and co-working spaces could be created. This space could also be used to offer entertainment to Florentines, for example creating a library, study stations, food courts and a special area for a film club. The new functionalization of this place aims to develop aggregation but also to improve the surrounding area, for example creating cycle and walking paths connecting Florence to its surrounding hills, thus enhancing an eco-friendly approach thanks to outdoors activities fully immersed in nature.
Santa Maria Novella Railway Station
Santa Maria Novella railway station, built after the demolition of “Maria Antonietta” previous station, besides being one of the most important railway hub, is a very important historic and artistic building. It was built in the 1930s by a group of architects -including Giovanni Michelucci- named “Tuscan Group” who won a public competition sponsored by Florence municipality. The railway station was inaugurated on 30 October 1935, during Fascism. It was built in rationalist style, popular at that time.
The building in its rational and functional style, spread out horizontally, offers big spaces to travellers and tourists.
The building characterized by glass and steel ceiling and a marble floor, houses works by famous artists. The exterior solid stones are of the same colour as the buildings of Florence historical centre.
Lately, the railway station area has become a meeting place, thanks to its numerous shops, bars and cafes located in its beautiful subway, in former ticket offices or in the Palazzina Reale, where the Italian king and his court stayed during their visits to Florence.
This building could be perfect for our project as it is located in the city centre and it is always full of people. It could become an ideal meeting place for young people both for its position and for the numerous shops around. The building could also house a library, a free internet point and cultural spaces.
The former Supercinema was founded in 1650 by Ippolito Francini, one of Ferdinando de Medici’s dearest friends. It was the first vagrant orphan hospice in Florence. From 1766 the young orphans moved to another structure and this building was transformed into the Quarconia theater, famous for its plays in the vernacular. Afterwards it was bought by Lucherini who named it Teatro Leopoldo and thanks to the help of an architect, gave the theater its present look, characterized by five tiers of boxes and a wonderful neoclassical staircase. The theater, producing performances addressed to an educated and refined audience, did not make big profits. The name of the theater changed again, it was called National Theater, when Florence joined the Kingdom of Italy. In 1919 the National Congress of the Italian Fasces of Combat was held there. In the 1920s it was bought by the Castellani family, afterwards, until the first half of the 1980s, it was used as a cinema. Now this place is disused and is waiting to be requalified.
Considering the structure and the spaces of this building, it could be interesting to use it as an area for young people where they can meet, talk about current issues, spend some time together, thus establishing relationships.
Discussion about topics
We were surprised by ourselves how exciting it was to explore our own cities, to find out unknown places, or rediscover well-known ones. During our initial research, we have identified many interesting cultural and historical places, which could be used for our project. Because of time limitations, we had to select up to 2 assets from each city to work with. We had vivid discussions about which objects would be finally used for the project. To select the final ones, we have set a few criteria, such as:
- did we collect enough materials about the asset?
- was the presentation about the planned project inspiring enough?
- can the object be reused in an innovative, futuristic city?
- can the object be enhanced by the elements of another object, so that together they would form a new, futuristic object? (This, actually, was the unique feauture of our approach!)
Based on the criteria above, we selected the final objects for our object.
Target Group Research
First we asked ourselves, as representatives of the target group, what interested us about the buildings and what we expected from their presentation. We liked the idea of combining all the buildings in a new city and developing something new.
Secondly we made some short interviews with other students from our school and asked them, what they expected from our idea of EuRoFloBie. The feedback was quite positive and we realized that our idea to create a new common city with other European students was appreciated by other learners.
Also wir asked them whether they have any experience with AR and Blippar Apps. Most of them had no experience in AR, so it was a nice challenge in our project.
Design of the Solution
WE ARE ALL DESIGNERS!
After having collected different materials for the selected objects, we started elaborate ideas about how we could put them all together in order to design a new city. We used ordinary paper sheets, coloured pensils, and activated our brains to create something new! Just view a few sketches below!
Hand made Sketch of the Mixed places in EuRoFloBie
Hand made sketch of the EuRoFloBie CITY MAP
Sketches Arresthuis: /sites/default/files/cultapp-media/project-24/Arresthuis_sketches.zip
Interested in learning more about the entire Design process? Feel free to have a look into the file below: we visualized there our approach towards creating a new train station, which was composed of different elements from the cities of Bielefeld, Roermond, and Florence.
During the DESIGN phase, we also created a name of our fictive city - EuRoFloBie, which represented a mix of Roermond, Florence, and Bielefeld under the umbrella of Europe! Watch below the sketch map of Euroflobie!
Augmented Reality Prototype
Stories and materials for EuRoFloBie are created - now it's high time to start producing Augmented Reality scenes for our fictive city! Most of us didn't have any experience with AR. That's why together with CultApp team and our teachers we, first, learned how AR tools worked. We were advised to use free and simple AR tool Blippbuilder https://www.blippar.com/build-ar from the British software company Blippar.
To start working with BlippBuilder, we had to register at the website of Blippar. The registration is free of charge. If you are interested in using BlippBuilder, follow this link https://accounts.blippar.com/signup/free to sign up for free.
To get an overview of the Blippar BlippBuilder tool, we watched this video:
To learn how to create AR scenes using BlippBuilder, we used this video tutorial:
Then we were ready to create AR scenes for EuRoFloBie. In total, we produced 4 AR trigger images. You will find them in the file below:
HOW TO INTERACT WITH THE AR IMAGES?
1. Download the app Blippar (for free) on your mobile devices. We recommend using following download links:
2. Open the app and enter the test code of the AR object you want to experience (test codes are provided in the file with our AR trigger images).
3. Scan the corresponding trigger picture/object with your smartphone camera (make sure that you entered the correct test code for the AR marker concerned).
4. Press the button SCAN and wait until the AR scene (“Blipp”) loads (progress will be indicated).
5. You should be able to interact with the displayed AR scene: If everything run smoothly, you will see different dots on the screen.
6. If loading process does not start: make sure that you used lower case letters when typing test codes resp. that you used a correct test code for the trigger picture concerned. In addition, make sure that the trigger picture is fully covered by the smartphone camera.
Cross media model
Each Blipp was accessible through the main menu. It appeared when the Blippar app captured the trigger image. The main menu was a sort of a virtual "cockpit" with a futuristic look. Furthermore, users could access more detailed content via interactive buttons. The home button always led back to the main menu. If a return to the previous content was required, a back button was used.
Our Blipps presented stories about the past, present and future of each building. We used photographs, illustrations, and interactive elements to navigate through the content. Also we used headlines and short descriptive texts. The blip was viewed using a smartphone, so space for text was limited. To make it as easy as possible for users to view the content, the text was short.
Look & Feel
We displayed all the content as a "hand" typed page (typewriter). This is to appear authentic and show something of our way of working: How researched like journalists and made photos and sketches.
To popularize the prototype providing following Informations to our audience:
- General information about our project
- Link to Blippar app with instructions to install and how to use
- Trigger Images
For this we used the following communication channels:
- We published our project on our school website,
- We handed out postcards (or sent per mail) with the trigger image, test code and basic information
- We presented and discussed our results with other classes and teachers of our school.
Review of test results
The blipps we created were tested using the self-evaluation sheet. We went through the criteria specified there, and checked whether our blipps met them. If any criterion was not fulfilled, we integrated improvements needed.
In the next step, we asked learners from our school to test the created Blipps, too, to get an unbiased feedback. This greatly helped us improve our product.
Feel free to make use of the attached evaluation sheet when testing your Blipps!
We were pretty proud of our results and we made ideas about where we could publish them. In general, we had two ways to publish:
Offline sharing: to disseminate EuroFloBie outputs at various events, school meetings, magazins etc.;
Online sharing: to publish blipps via BlippAR to a wider online community of other BlippAR users.
Since online sharing was not free of charge and we didn't calculate corresponding costs when planning our project, we decided to reject this option. However, for our future projects we will consider online sharing!
Though, we presented our results first to other teams, Tribustown and Greenfalls, who participated in the AL project. On 17th of May 2021, we had a final online event where we presented our approach and EuroFloBie outputs.
In addition, together with CultApp members we participated in a national multiplier event in Italy at ITT MP on June 30 as well as in the international multiplier event in Germany, during which we proudly presented our results.