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.


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.

The 2020-I teams have been working 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 an peek into their process, please check the blog posts and the prototype page.

Living Pasts Prototype preview
The 2019 Living Pasts prototype.

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