Stad Kortrijk
Koen Bovée (scenography), Atento (construction)
1.200 m2
furniture: veneered oak; display cases: anti-reflective security glass; models: plexi
immersive experience, projection mapping, show control, interactive multimedia, digital storytelling

1302 is a high-tech experience exhibition at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Kortrijk that zooms in on the Battle of the Golden Spurs.

1302 is a multimedia experience exhibition at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Kortrijk that zooms in on the Battle of the Golden Spurs. The church, a historic site that overlooked the battlefield in 1302, bears silent witness to the narrative of the battle. This is why it is the perfect canvas on which to tell the complex history through this exhibition. CREATE.eu opted for a high-tech approach, with digital storytelling playing a central role. Visitors are taken on a journey through an immersive animated film, a multimedia experience table and an identity wall.

The jury on 1302:

1302 provides a cinema experience in the church, with the space being used to tell the story in a new but respectful way. The technologies are used so perfectly that the space and the story come to life. 1302 shows that a cinematic experience does not need its own cinema room, but can also be completely tailored to a specific space, so that a historic space can be reused in a useful way. 
1302 © Daphne Matthys

What does this award mean to you?

The award is recognition for the entire CREATE.eu team and partners in this project. A lot of thought went into how such a high-tech experience could be set up in the church in a respectful way in every aspect: from the visual style of the animations and interactions, to the scenography of the furniture, to the integration of all the technology. The many demands regarding the preservation of the sacred atmosphere, the preservation of heritage value and the continued celebration of mass in the church made the integration a feat. This award confirms that multimedia experiences of this kind can go hand in hand with heritage. It inspires us to continue to develop creative and innovative solutions of this kind for unconventional environments and stories.

What makes your project so special?

Telling this story in this special place is truly unique. Back in 1302, part of this building was a silent witness to events on the battlefield. The fact that this historic building can now share the past through immersive projections, while retaining its original character, makes it extra special. The high heritage value and the fact that the celebration of mass was still taking place in the church posed additional challenges in integrating the experience with modern technology. Anything we did had to be reversible in order to preserve the heritage. The design had to not only be contemporary, but also fit seamlessly into the spaces. Simple control was also crucial. The operation had to be accessible, even for people with no technical background.

How does it contribute to a better world?

Many misconceptions and myths have crept into the collective memory, such as a goedendag often being mistakenly presented as a stick with an iron ball with pins on it, or the battle being represented as a battle over language. Through the exhibition, we hope to set the record straight, debunking myths and misconceptions surrounding the battle. Close cooperation with historians guarantees this. Last century, the battle also became a symbol of identity. Why is that? What is ‘identity’? Is there such a thing as collective identity? We explain the path to symbol formation and try to find answers to these questions.