Project Type: Research

Themes: Assistive & Accessible Technology, Culture and Participation

Mapping Multisensory Experiences at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Location: United Kingdom

About the Project

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) with the view of creating a dynamic new heart of east London. The park was designed to continue the legacy of the Paralympic Games and to create a diverse and inclusive space for all. Our project contributes to this vision by (i) engaging the disabled community of east London in a conversation about their experiences and perceptions of the QEOP and then (ii) co-creating a multisensory representation of the experience of blind people as a reminder of diversity and inclusion at the park. We hope that this work will act as a beacon to the rich network of disabled people across east London and be an accelerator for engagement activities between the GDI Hub’s new lab in UCL East and the local community we look to serve and work with.

The project has been funded by the UCL Culture Beacon Bursary and is led by GDI Hub PhD Students Maryam Bandukda and Kate Burton.

Who can participate?

We encourage blind and partially sighted people (and their family members) living in east London and surrounding areas to participate in this project. Please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to register your interest in participating in this project.

We will be looking for blind and partially sighted residents of east London to participate in this project. If you are interested in participating or would like to share your thoughts and comment on the project idea, please email m.bandukda@ucl.ac.uk.

Projet Timeline

The project will run between June and October 2021. This project will be carried out in four stages.

Stage 1 - Ideation and Co-design Workshops (June-July): We will invite the participants to attend a co-design workshop (online or in-person depending on the social distancing guidelines) to brainstorm and create a prototype of an accessible multisensory map of the Olympic Park.

Stage 2 - Park Exploration and Experience Sampling (August): Participants will record their experience of exploring the Olympic Park focusing on the multisensory stimulations - sounds, smells, sights, and touch, how these experiences change as they explore different parts of the park, over time and across seasons and reflect on what the Olympic Park centred in east London means to them. The data collection for this phase will run between June - July.

Stage 3 - Producing a Multisensory Augmented Map (August-September): Following the workshop, a multisensory augmented map of the Olympic Park will be produced and participants will be invited back at the park to evaluate this map. This map will be augmented with the stories collected by the participants in stage 2 (with participants' consent of course) and will temporarily installed within the Olympic Park between August - October period (location to be finalised).

Stage 4 - Testing the Augmented Map (October): Once the map has been developed and tested with a small subset of participants, we will deploy the map using a standalone app to the Olympic Park visitors to share their experience of the park. Through this map, we aim to bring together disabled and non-disabled communities in east London and connecting with the global communities who will visit the Olympic Park in person or digitally through this map.

Project Team

Maryam Bandukda
PhD Student, Technology-mediated Access to Open Spaces for Blind People
Kate Burton
PhD Student, Museum Tactile Access for Blind People