Laura Pecchioli

 I have always been fascinated by both Architecture and Computing Technology. My background comes as an architect with a passion for technology. In these last years I have increased my skills and knowledge in HCI, interaction Design, Design Theory, Ubiquitous Computing, Immersive Augmented Environment (in Italy at the PERCRO Laboratory), in particular regarding Map-based mobile services. 

My father used to tell me: “you must observe the situations always from more view points and understand how they work”. This is my approach in life and in research. 

Working already as a student and then as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Restoration (DIRES) of the Faculty of Florence, my experience grew up professionally while I collaborated in research groups where I usually was the project leader. 

Since the Bachelor degree, I developed a passion for methods, experimental approaches and interdisciplinary collaborations. For instance, I developed a method to diagnose a state of conservation to program the interviews. An interdisciplinary work which I coordinated with nine professional people from different fields (architecture, science applied, physic, bioclimatic method, biology, archaeology, petrography, 

climatology and agronomy) and eight students. The result was a simulated application (DTM) of an archaeological context, considered as an object, followed by a monitoring in the real world. The model comprised a mapping of the climatic situations, besides other environmental aspects. This allowed identification of vulnerable or critical issues throughout some simulation processes. Considering that it was developed in 1999, it was really a precursor, because it integrated 3D models and simulations in Cultural Heritage field. 

Another method was developed during the research period of the European Doctorate. I developed a prototype called ISEE (“I see”). An intuitive method enables the user to access information while navigating a 3D model, just by looking at it. A Usability Test has been carried out at the end of the work: it gave good results and the user feedback was enthusiastic. We have also applied the method in an outdoor mixed reality setting, using the GPS to provide the location; the system supplied the user with the information related to the portion of the real world being looked at. The application was successfully implemented and we were able to retrieve information just by looking around. The actual work is on the mobile devices and at present I am enjoying to study the performances of the Iphone 3G. 


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Research Interest

Access to information enables knowledge to be shared among people; it is therefore becoming increasingly important.

Cultural heritage is an interdisciplinary field that draws together several different professions. Information is gained from different sources and in varying formats. Furthermore, the relationship between the conservation managers, who are often unfamiliar with current documentation techniques, and the providers of the information, who tend to be highly technical practitioners without expertise in cultural heritage, is not easy to handle.

The result of her work of European Doctorate is one method called ISEE ("I see"). This method allows spatial information to be accessed through the interactive navigation of a synthetic 3D model, reproducing the main features of a corresponding real environment. The user can get the pieces of information more relevant where he is looking at it. The system can be used with standard Web browsers, allowing access to a wider audience without any special requirements.

The system has been applied to selected case studies related both to outdoor and indoor environments, proving potentially to be also an interesting prototype as a smart guide with the use of augmented reality technologies.

Perhaps my background is not “usual”, and is rather interdisciplinary. However, I am very interested in Your research fields and would like to pursue my studies in advanced interfaces and knowledge technologies. I believe that the perspective of Embodied Interaction Design in the development of mobile applications will result in innovative interfaces, thanks to the integration of the most recent studies on human cognition and neurosciences to the understanding of technological issues.