UC designs phone app for Christchurch’s historic High Street

Press Release – University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury (UC) has designed a phone app and a website for Christchurchs quake-hit historic High Street precinct which was severely damaged in the February 22 earthquake.

UC designs phone app for Christchurch’s historic High Street precinct

February 1, 2013

The University of Canterbury (UC) has designed a phone app and a website for Christchurch’s quake-hit historic High Street precinct which was severely damaged in the February 22 earthquake.

Honours graduate Lucy Holland has researched the project over the summer break and will present her findings at a public presentation on campus on February 8.

Holland said the app will not only provide augmented reality and show what stood before the earthquakes but it would also tell stories about each building and activity.

“The app will provide an on-site tour of High Street, and users will be able to listen to short snippets of interviews that will lead them through the history of the area. The app will also feature three-dimensional augmented reality models of buildings that once stood on High Street.

“The project has brought together 80 stories from the High Street precinct, with recollections including brothel murders, fire bombings, the birth of Flying Nun Records and protests against the demolition of the Victorian Edwardian streetscape of lower High Street in the mid-1980s.

“This is an important project for Christchurch and New Zealand because it documents the culture of an area that has vanished since the quakes.

“My background in art history and this scholarship has been a great springboard for me in working on this project and I have enjoyed exploring the ways in which curation and technology came together,’’ Holland said.

Holland has been collaborating with UC’s high-tech HITLabNZ and the Historic Places Trust. Her project was supervised by UC’s Professor Mark Billinghurst and Dr Barbara Garrie.

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