Claire Eaglesham BA (Hons) Social Anthropology, MSc Heritage Visualisation

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Simulation and Visualisation



Still from “Memories of Kellie” 2018

Still from “Memories of Kellie” 2018


Claire Eaglesham

Experiencing the intangible: Communicating cultural meaning through storytelling and immersive technologies

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Stuart Jeffrey
Co-Supervisor Dr Jennie Morgan

Ethnographic collections offer a wealth of historical and cultural information for museum audiences. However, traditional display approaches and museum spaces limit the full contextualisation of ethnographic artefacts, particularly in terms of their socially constructed forms of meaning and significance. This PhD by research project will evaluate the ways immersive technologies and storytelling techniques can be used to communicate the intangible aspects of ethnographic artefacts. It will adopt an iterative design process, where user-centred design approaches inform the development of a prototype immersive application. The prototype will be evaluated through usability testing, participant observation and semi-structured interviews, and the outputs of the evaluations will be used to inform further development of the immersive application. Issues such as ambiguity, interpretation and decolonisation will be explored, as well as the agency of the visitor and contexts of representation. This research aims to provide a framework for developing immersive experiences which communicate cultural understanding and promote engagement with museum visitors.

Claire’s interdisciplinary approach combines elements from her academic background in Social Anthropology and Heritage Visualisation, as well as her professional experience of developing and evaluating VR and AR applications. Working with digital technologies, she explores the possibilities offered by combining innovative visualisation techniques with user-focused interaction and storytelling.