The XR Museum. Merging physical and virtual interfaces to create eXtended Reality (XR) experiences for cultural audiences (July – December 2021)

Lead Researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (PI); Dr Caroline Jay (Co-I); Prof Joseph Lampel (Co-I); Prof Nikolay Mehandjiev (Co-I)
Research Assistant: Enrika Pavlovskyte

Funding Body: The Alan Turing Institute and University of Manchester

Amount: £15,923

Collaborating Institutions

  • Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester
  • Data Visualisation Observatory, University of Manchester
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • FutureEverything
  • Mechdyne
  • Museum Development North West
  • National Museums Liverpool
  • National Paralympic Heritage Trust
  • North West Federation of Museums
  • Theatre of Debate

Project summary

A dollhouse view of the Manchester Art Gallery

This feasibility project will analyse the viability of the use of collection and visitor data and AI-generated 3D scans of museums and galleries to offer museum staff and audiences opportunities to interact with eXtended Reality (XR) museum spaces, multi-layered content, and avatars of visitors.

Towards that, it will draw on relevant secondary and primary data to determine the parameters of sustainable, achievable, and affordable uses of immersive technologies by small and medium size museums and galleries with the purposes of: reaching existing and new audiences; offering accessible and social experiences online; co-producing immersive storytelling; and creating opportunities to monetise digital cultural content.

It will lead to a Proof-of-Concept for the development and adoption of relevant, affordable, and sustainable XR cultural products and experiences, which will inform a larger funding application.


Email: Dr Kostas Arvanitis,