The Living Pasts course is a Utrecht University course, in which bachelor’s students get the opportunity to uncover the rich history of Utrecht, using raw historical data.

* Registration for Period 3 is from November 2nd – November 29th. Late registration: January 25th & 26th (2021).


Engaging with fragments of the past is one thing, but how to do this at scale and translate findings into engaging, interactive media formats for the public?

In this newly developed practice-based course students are challenged to validate and combine historical data across disciplines, by designing and realizing a Time Machine application that tells the story of a particular place across the centuries.

In the 2020-II iteration of the course, two student teams created an Augmented Reality application to bring back the nave of the Dom Church, and a web-based treasure hunt in which you get to interact with historical characters. See the 2020-II prototype page for more information!

During the 2020-I run, three teams worked hard on a VR time-traveling experience on Janskerkhof, an interactive graphic novel on the Maliebaan during World War II, and an online cooking magazine on Utrecht’s past cuisine. To get a peek into their process, please check the blog posts and the 2020-I prototype page.

Living Pasts Prototype preview
The 2019 Living Pasts prototype.

In the 2019 run of Living Pasts, students studied Utrecht’s central square, the Neude. This has resulted in the development of a first prototype, which can be found here.