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Enchaning user experience through interaction design: Rethinking the Municipal Agora of Chania through narratives

Dania Panagiota

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Year 2021
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Panagiota Dania, "Enchaning user experience through interaction design: Rethinking the Municipal Agora of Chania through narratives", Master Thesis, School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2021
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The Municipal Market of Chania commonly known as the "Agora" is a historic building in the city of Chania in Crete, Greece. It is a building full of memory and representative elements of the city's history. Being a significant point of interest for tourists and visitors, the "Agora" is used as a central market on a daily basis, thus creating a commercial hub, fully integrated into the everyday life of the citizens. Based on the ongoing research of enhancing the user experience at the Municipal Agora of Chania (Karagianni et al, 2019), we highlight the idea that the Agora can be rethought as a building, monument, experience and journey. Using the conceptual approach of designing through narratives (Lehman, 2018; Achten, 2019), we delineate the process of integrating new technologies into the process of architectural design. Following that premise, the Agora is rethought as a commercial hub and as a historical monument. Previous research on the building experience through technology and IoT has shown that users experience lack of orientation and absence of comprehension regarding the historical and architectural value of the building (Karagianni et al, 2019). A new augmented reality application is designed to enhance user experience in a twofold way: on the one hand, to provide an overall improved experience of the Agora and tweak the interaction between user and the building; on the other hand, to create a layer of understanding the architectural and historical value, independent of the commercial layer of the Agora.In order to achieve interactivity within the Agora, our study focuses on two main axes. Firstly, we make use of the research results in the work of Karagianni et al (2019), to create conceptual narratives based on geometric and morphological elements of the building aiming at pointing out the optimal route towards enhancing the overall visitor experience. Secondly, we provide to the visitor the experience of re-live the place as it was or to make him understand better the composition, the structure of the space and its importance in the city site, exploiting ΑR dynamics, developing a system that uses marker-based and markerless tracking techniques, superimposing virtual elements onto the real environment of the Agora.The suggested route is a five point ‘journey’ into the cross shape monument. The journey starts at the main entrance of Agora, continues through the main corridor, from the beginning to the center and to the end of it, and finally drives you to the secondary corridor of the cross. The aim is to give the opportunity to the visitor to enjoy the experience of the Agora as a monument, as a significant market for the locals and of course to understand the importance of its architectural design which is not obvious because of the scale of the building. By re-inventing the building experience and redesigning the route we manage to offer the visitor an exploration of the whole building and the enjoyment of the dual role of Agora.

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