Villajoyosa opts again for the international awards of the Design for all Foundation

The Augmented Accessibility project, developed by Vilamuseu and Néstor F. Marqués - Virtual Heritage and Cultural Promotion, designated as Good Practice 2019 and nominated for the International Best Practice Awards.

Vilamuseu, Vila Joiosa's municipal museum network, received in 2018 in Luxembourg the prestigious international award of Best Practices 2017 from the Design for All Foundation.
Now the Department of Historical Heritage has presented the joint candidacy for the international awards 2019 of the Increased Accessibility project, a public-private initiative. It is developed jointly by Vilamuseu and Néstor F. Marqués - Virtual Heritage and Cultural Promotion. The Foundation has already informed the City Council that the project has been recognised as Good Practice 2019 and is competing for the International Best Practice Awards.

Augmented accessibility (AA) in virtualisation and 3D printing of heritage is a concept created by Vilamuseu and Néstor F. Marqués - Virtual Heritage and Cultural Promotion. The Project, which bears the same name, is a non-formal strategic alliance between a public museum that is a leader in accessibility and design for all on an international level and a leading company in technologies applied to heritage.

Augmented accessibility is a concept we developed to refer to different ways of improving the accessibility of a 3D model or tactile replica, compared to the original.
The project is underway since March 2017, with main funding from the Vila Joiosa City Council, conceptualization of Vilamuseu and technological and material material materialization by Néstor F. Marqués. In 2018 and 2019, two grants were also received from Council of Tourism in Comunitat Valenciana for project actions.

As a team, we started the project with the objective of create a new accessible ways to experience a heritage that fully complies with the most demanding criterion of integral accessibility in the final product. In fact, and to ensure that we also obtain quality documentary and archival data, the most advanced techniques in virtualization and 3D printing have been applied. At the same time, the project explores democratic and sustainable ways to obtain accessible products, at costs affordable to any museum, through photogrammetric virtualization and 3D FDM printing, and the use of ecological materials such as PLA.

In the end, the results are multipurpose 3D files that allow us to document, analyse and disseminate heritage with accessibility as the main objective, and which are also accessible from all over the world through Vilamuseu's own channel on the Sketchfab platform. The project covers the whole process up to its musealization and online dissemination. To this end, it has defined a methodology based on 14 principles, among which are: the selection of the pieces; scale; work in collaboration with other accessible museums around the world (to date in Brazil, Italy and Spain); technical evaluation and evaluation by the end users; information in media accessible to everyone; accessible, safe and aesthetic finish of the replicas and their museum furniture; sustainability and health safety of the touch products, among others.

Design for All is the intervention on environments, products and services with the aim that all people, including future generations, regardless of age, gender, abilities or cultural background, can enjoy participating in the construction of our society under equal conditions. This recognition once again highlights the efforts of the Vila Joiosa Town Council to provide the city with a network of museums and monuments designed in an accessible and inclusive manner for all.