Monica Virtue’s Masters thesis project, The Ipperwash Beach Walk, was awarded the 2016 medal for the Digital Futures Masters program at OCAD University’s 101st GradEx graduate exhibition. Monica is a recent graduate of the Masters in Digital Futures (MDes) at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario, a two-year program in partnership with the CFC Media Lab.
To read the written thesis document, download the PDF file here:
The project uses geo-location to deliver documentary media and interactive visualizations to mobile users during an embodied “beach walk” along a disputed strip of land on Lake Huron. As users travel an historic trail between two Indigenous communities, crossing a series of GPS points along the water’s edge, they will learn via smartphone how settlers colonized Ipperwash Beach. The content is delivered through a mobile platform designed to tell stories. The project is a form of counter-mapping which presents an alternate viewpoint to mainstream notions about how Ipperwash Beach became a vacation destination. Created through the use of co-design methods, the project is intended to benefit the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation through a sharing of original archival research, an opportunity to improve relationships with non-Indigenous neighbours, and a value-added experience for the carloads of tourists who visit each summer.
Work on The Ipperwash Beach Walk continues in the Public Visualization Lab for the duration of the summer, with a soft launch scheduled for October 2017.