ASU’s Tempe campus houses the first wave of this ongoing, highly collaborative project that reimagines the way a historical narrative is created and experienced. This art installation strives to create a historical journey that is based in images of a landscape rather a traditional storied narrative.  Physical markers embedded in the landscape indicate that layers of history can be uncovered by many mobile devices. At each site, many layers of historical imagery may be experienced in a self-driven manner.  Some of these views are photographic, others are architectural renderings that display what might have been with as much historical accuracy as possible. Using the tenants of Participant Action Research in an experimental manner designed to produce a “Narrative”, the re:Frame collaborative has been asked to report on their knowledge and experience with campus, and to select specific sites that hold a rich and evolved history.  In the pilot AR experience, the collaborative is proposing the historicity of “place” will be explored at ASU’s Old Main Quad, Palm Walk, the former site of Goodwin Stadium and The Barrett Commons. The collective has assigned a set of value statements about each site, and these statements are used to seek images that support or oppose the expressed values.

Like history itself, this project is designed to be re-iterative. The initial installation is culled from a collaboration of stakeholders that represent various perspectives contained within the historic timeline known to its members.  The collaborative is open and ever evolving, charged with the task of representing the most complex and common set of histories within a given site.

The technology needs a fixed physical marker that is used to calculate the placement of these images.  The collaborative is hoping to have a student and local artist competitive submission process to produce “frames” that can serve as the marker.  These frames are not be actual frames, but an artistic representation of a window or a portal that represents a “frame”. The basics of this design can be found in the accompanying presentation.

Once launched, the AR experience will also feature an invitation to submit materials and ideas for the evolution of the narrative. It is our hope to relaunch the narrative structure each year, refining the experience to be more inclusive and adding more sites. The collaborative also hopes to expand into Tempe and Phoenix, using the groundwork laid on campus to reach deeper into the surrounding community.

Once developed, the materials, processes and technology will be published open source, empowering other municipalities, agencies and institutions to replicate the experience with their own content.  Users can follow the re:Frame model and brand with us, or the can develop their own market identity.

Proposed Initial Sites on ASU campus

Old Main Quad – This handsome quad is reminiscent of a classic 19th century east coast college. Commonly, feelings about the quad speak to legacy and tradition, despite the visible impact different styles that result from the rapid and regular growth of the University over the years.

Former Site of Goodwin Stadium In addition to being the site where ASU’s commitment to excellence in Athletics as born, this site housed many early dorms and workshops.  It is the site of several historic moments in ASU’s history, such as a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., and many political rallies and events.

Barrett Commons – The construction of Barrett Commons represents a completion of ASU’s south eastern expansion.  This site has been the home to many histories, some of which include contoverial or culturally insensitive choices on behalf of the site developers.  It has one of the most documented and lengthy pre-university historical records of any site on campus.

Palm Walk – This is ASU’s central walkway. First installed by President Matthews, the picturesque vegetation is maintained to provide a safe means of passage across campus for all members of the ASU community.



Leslie L. Smith

David Abbott

Marco Albaran

Denise Bates

Susan Barrett

Wanda Della Costa

Stephanie DeLuse

Matthew Harp

Thomas Hartman

Mark Klett

Robert LiKamWa

Christine Marin*

Kostalena MIcheLaki*

Edward Oetting

Josh Roffler

Xin Wei Sha

Jared Smith

Rob Spindler

Mark Tebeau

Richard Toon

Matthew Toro


*ASU affilitated unless specified