chapter  1
18 Pages

Thinking and using DECIMA: neighbourhoods and occupations in Renaissance Florence


The mobile technology offers considerable pedagogical opportunities. The Hidden Florence was a research experiment, but it was also conceived as a pedagogical tool and a way to engage as wide a public as possible in what in effect is an alternative tour of the city. This chapter discusses the app unfolds for users, from the remarkably detailed 1584 Buonsignori map, which allows a degree of navigability and immersion not possible with previous maps of the city, to the specific sites and objects that engage users with the material culture of public space, to the audio and the invented Giovanni character. While much of the content and interpretation voiced by Giovanni might be described as socio-cultural history, the Hidden Florence app seeks also to be a work of art and architectural history in that it engages users above all in exploring the extant material culture of the public spaces of the Renaissance city.