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Locative Storytelling: The Ipperwash Beach Walk

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 2016 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.

The Ipperwash Beach Walk 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.

To read the written thesis document, download the PDF file here:

Thesis Document – 107 pages – Low resolution – May 2016 (4.5 MB)
Thesis Document – 107 pages – Print quality – May 2016 (111 MB)

Work on The Ipperwash Beach Walk prototype continues in the Public Visualization Lab for the duration of the summer, with a soft launch scheduled for October 2017.


The Co-Design Process

Coming soon!

Phase 1 – Exploring and Mapping

Coming soon!

Phase 2 – Developing Ideas

Coming soon!

Phase 3 – Exhibiting and Selecting Ideas

Coming soon!

Phase 4 – Prototyping and Co-Constructing

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Phase 5 – Inaugurating and Publicizing

Coming soon!

Phase 6 – Testing and Evaluating

Coming soon!


Project: The Ipperwash Beach Walk
Partners: Zero Lab
Program: Digital Futures Masters
Institution: OCAD University
Components: MapMyWalk + More coming soon.

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