DIFT - Vooruit

CONCEPT • STRATEGY • UI DESIGN

Combine over one hundred years of history with a vibrant meeting space. That was the objective we got from Vooruit. Go crazy they said. Projects like this give us life. Under the name of ‘Discover Vooruit’ we present to you: Timewalker.

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What an idea

The history of Vooruit is so versatile that it’s impossible to capture in one image. That’s exactly where the Timewalker came into play. We’ve made three timelines through which you can literally walk: one about the monumental building of Vooruit, another about the social engagement of the organisation and one about the artists that have worked, created and exhibited their talent throughout the century. With the use of a moveable screen, you select the the period you’re interested in and the timeline comes to life. You can use the interactive screen to pull up articles, videos or photos about that specific timeframe.

Franky Devos, head coordinator of Vooruit, explains that they needed something to showcase the history of the building: “We get so many requests from both tourists and people of Ghent to let them explore the rich history of this landmark. With this timeline you can go back to Nirvana’s concert in 1991 or the female protest movement in the sixties. It’s so diverse and also very personal. Timewalker tells the tale of your own history. You can use this time machine to teleport you back to your first 10 Days Off during Gentse Feesten, to that party where you met your first girlfriend or to that one mad play that blew your mind. The history of Vooruit is the history of all of us.”

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One hundred years of archive digitalised

Timewalker is a technological revolution. We drew out the concept, the UX and interface design, but our partner Ocular made it reality. We also want to mention the hard work of Kristin Verboven and Paule Verbruggen of Amsab (Institute of Social History). They dove into the dusty archives tirelessly and dug up some real treasures hidden in the attic.

Kristin Verboven has a lot of experience as a senior culture producer at VRT (Belgian national public broadcaster) and that came in handy: “A few years ago Vooruit celebrated its centenary highlighting all of the best moments of the last hundred years. That made it easier to map out Timewalker. I also got a lot of help from VRT and AVS (regional television station) that both provided us with tons of archive material. 

Is this the future of disclosing cultural heritage? Paule Verbruggen, Deputy Director of Amsab (Institute of Social History) believes so: “The world of archivation is moving in a digital direction. On the one hand because more and more material is already digital. People nowadays don’t write letters anymore, they send an email. 

On the other hand because the showcasing of archive material has changed. We used to do exhibitions, which were expensive and frankly we don’t have the space for it anymore. Now we use digital storytelling and reach an even bigger audience. But I do believe that using a mixture of physical and digital archive material is still the best formula.

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We’ll leave you with this: with the button ‘(eer)gisteren bij Vooruit’ (“yesterday at Vooruit”x) you can update the timeline yourself. Post your favourite memory on social media using the hashtag #vooruit and you will see it pop up on our Timewalker.

Come down to Vooruit and experience it for yourself. See you there!

Team

  • Hardware & software Ocular
  • Editing Kristin Verboven, Paule Verbruggen (Amsab)
Dift Profielen Broos

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