diVRsity: exploring diversity in VR

Delaram Javdani Rikhtehgar, Shenghui Wang, Dirk K.J. Heylen, Carolien Rieffe

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Nowadays, many museums are paying more attention to diversity, including their exhibitions, and many Dutch museums are now actively working towards this,
contributing to the process of decolonization. Museum Het Rembrandthuis presented the exhibition ?HERE: Black in Rembrandt?s Time?, which gave a realistic and respectful picture of black people during the 17th century who lived in and around Amsterdam or who visited. In these paintings, Rembrandt and his contemporaries gave black people a central role, portraying them as individuals, not in the stereotyped roles as we often see in later work by others. However, the past two years have been difficult for museums, with many closing their exhibitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To preserve cultural information and exhibits in an efficient and attractive manner, many museums have taken initiative to present their collections through digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR). VR engages visitors, makes exhibits interactive, and assists museum curators in research and exhibit design. This paper presents a VR-based exhibition based on the aforementioned physical exhibition from Museum Het
Rembrandthuis. Using this demo, we investigated how going through this exhibition in VR can affect awareness and preferences of visitors for the representation of people of color in museums at the levels of artwork, artists, and
personnel. Additionally, we present current and planned future developments toward using VR-specific data (e.g., eye-tracking data) to model user interest and semantically linking those data to the available knowledge graphs, and integrating a conversational agent as a museum guide in this environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event ICT Open 2023 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 10 Apr 202311 Apr 2023


Conference ICT Open 2023


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