NWO KIEM grant
Bridging the gap between theories and practices of cultural heritages

Multisensoric toolkit for researchers and professionals in the field of cultural heritage


Prof. Hester Dibbits has received a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to develop a toolkit for professonials and academics in the field of cultural heritage. 

A recent trend in the world of cultural heritage is the deployment of collections and artefacts to increase wellbeing. Both in academic and heritage institutes, researchers and practitioners experiment with methods to measure the effects of heritage for wellbeing. However, both groups also struggle with the conceptual and practical challenges of exchanging and combining expertise, which are partly due to the jargon loaded and text biased approaches in use.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice

The project 'Facilitated Interaction on Heritage and Wellbeing' (FloHaW) aims to take up these challenges by bringing together academics, heritage experts and creative industry partners to apply new methods for measuring affective negotiations with heritage. Two methods will be applied and tested:

  1. emotion networking and
  2. object based learning.

Both methods recognize the variety of possible responses across diverse groups of individuals, and draw on the expertise of health and heritage practitioners, as well as academic researchers, to investigate best practices and devise tools for measuring results.

Travelling toolkit

By applying these methods, the team aims to develop a less jargon loaded model in the form of travelling toolkit. As the creative industry partners travel with the academics to three workshops (in London, Amsterdam and Zagreb), they will experiment with different elements of this toolkit (lexicons, images, objects, sounds, and odours). The aim is to find out what best facilitates interaction between academics and practitioners. The creative professionals will help the consortium of cultural heritage specialists to define what they mean by ‘heritage object/item’, and what they understand by ‘emotion/affect’. The toolkit will help academics and professionals to practically approach the wellbeing qualities of both tangible and intangible heritages.

The team

The interdisciplinary team consists of:

  • Prof. Inger Leemans (VU Amsterdam)
  • Dr Manon Parry (UvA)
  • Dr Thomas Kador (UCL)
  • Marlous Willemsen (director of Imagine IC)
  • Sara Mattens (Creative Director vinger.nl)
  • Željka Sušić (Senior Curator Typhological Museum Zagreb)

About the KIEM grant

The Creative industry - KIEM programme aims to encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in the domain of the Creative industries. KIEM aims to promote and facilitate partnerships between knowledge institutions and private parties, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). KIEM enables consortia (consisting of at least one researcher employed at a Dutch University and at least one private partner) to develop sustainable partnerships. KIEM funding can also be used to further articulate and help answer questions put forward by private parties.