Visualizing History

Funded by a 2016-17 ICAT SEAD grant, a transdisciplinary team from Virginia Tech comprising Thomas Tucker (Creative Technology, School of Visual Arts), Todd Ogle (Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies), David Hicks (History and Social Science Education, School of Education), DongSoo Choi (Creative Technology, School of Visual Arts), and David Cline (Public History, Department of History) created a learning environment that is a hands-on, mixed-reality exhibit of the human experience in the contested landscape of World War I. In collaboration with French partners Celine Beauchamp and Adrien Arles from the archaeology firm Arkimene, the team created an immersive experience which leveraged the ICAT Cube, a virtual reality walkthrough of a tunnel recreation, and a 360 degree video documentary to explore the experiences of French, German and American troops and civilians at Vauquois Hill overlooking the French city of Verdun – where the shift from streeting fighting to trench warfare to tunnel and underground warfare on the Western Front lasting 4 years destroyed the village of Vauquois, scarring both the landscape and historical consciousness of those who were there.