Aalborg University - Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology


Contact person: Matthias Rehm

matthias [at] create.aau.dk


works as an Associate Professor for Media Technology at Aalborg University in Denmark. His research is focused on modeling social, affective and cultural aspects of everyday behavior for intuitive human computer interactions with a specific focus on cultural aspects of multimodal behavior. He has been involved in several international projects on affective computing assuming different roles from researcher to project leader. He has over 90 peer reviewed publications in the area of multimodal interaction, embodied agents, and culture aware technology. Matthias Rehm is member of the program committees of several international conferences in the area like AAMAS (since 2008), IVA (since 2003) or CATS (since 2008). He also frequently reviews for several international journals, e.g. for JAAMAS, IJHCS, International Journal of Intercultural Communication.


Description of the smart city learning group operating in the affiliated institution


The group is currently involved in two projects. 

Smart cities for smart children (SC2): 
The vision is to create a public space for learning experiences that transcend into all areas of the children’s life by the use of modern mobile technology while at the same time establishing traditional institutions (like schools, libraries, museums, etc.) as hubs for information gathering and collaborative interactions. Learning is thus not confined to a traditional institutional setting but the children’s living environment, i.e. the city itself, becomes an enchanted place allowing for discovering hidden knowledge in a playful manner, thus making lust to learn. Smart cities, in our vision, become creative environments for realizing new ways of interacting with information (and with others), integrating real and virtual as well as social and emotional aspects.

Intangible cultural heritage of the city:

In contrast to tangible heritage (buildings, sites, etc.), intangible heritage focuses on cultural practices. The intangible cultural heritage of the city is thus constituted by the inhabitants in their daily routines, giving meaning to places found in the city. This “meaning making” is subject to constant changes (e.g. structural changes when a city loses its industrial traditions). Research is centered on how this intangible heritage can be captured, represented, and disseminated in order to learn about (historical or modern) practices in relation to the actual urban places. While interested in general mechanisms behind capturing, representing and disseminating such intangible cultural heritage, the specific content will always be dependent on concrete places and communities. Thus, the group has established strong ties with the relevant stakeholders like the tourist information, city archive, and museums.



The group is located at the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, thus able to draw on a broad set of cross-disciplinary research competences. The department hosts among other things the research group for Mobility and Tracking Technologies as well as the Center for Urban Mobility Studies. Moreover, its Media Technology section has strong competencies signal processing, interaction design, and computer graphics, which are employed in developing next generation human centered interfaces focusing on mobile, tangible and robotic interactive systems.


Relevant achievements, best practices, products

In collaboration with a local school, the curriculum for teaching geometry was extended by an experiential component that takes the children (3rd grade) out of the classroom and into the city where they get acquainted with a range of geometrical concepts making use of buildings in the city. GeometryCity is a mobile application based on van Hiele's didactic approach.

Monsters Eat Art:

The project realizes an exploration game for children between 6 and 10 years of age. The game is supported by a virtual tour guide in the form of a monster that has eaten some of the artworks, which the children now have to find. Monsters focuses on social-relational interactions and collaboration as it has been shown that the integration of an agent that exhibits and supports social relational behavior triggers more user engagement and a higher satisfaction with the interaction.

Sounds of the City: tba

StreetArt Aalborg: tba

A range of related projects exist at the department, see e.g. C-MUS (http://www.c-mus.aau.dk/) or MoTT (http://tinyurl.com/admt-mott).



On going challenges


to be added soon



Relevant publications


• Rodil, K. & Rehm, M. (in press). A decade later: looking at the past while sketching the future of ICH through the Tripartite Digitization Model. International Journal of Intangible Heritage. Vol. 10, 2015.

• Rehm, M., Jensen, M. L., Wøldike, N. P., Vasilarou, D., & Stan, C. (2014). Smart Cities for Smart Children. Workshop on Smart City Learning at EC-TEL 2014, September 2014, Graz, Austria.

• Eskildsen, S., & Rehm, M. (2013). Challenges for Contextualizing Language Learning. In M. Kurosu (Ed.), Human-Computer Interaction. Applications and Services: 15th International Conference, HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, NV, USA, July 21-26, 2013, Proceedings, Part II. (Part III ed., Vol. 8005, pp. 361-369). Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Publishing Company. 10.1007/978-3-642-39262-7_41


• Eskildsen, S., Rodil, K., & Rehm, M. (2013). Identification and Analysis of Primary School Children’s Knowledge Acquisition: Using Knowledge Visualization Scenarios and Information Visualization Methodology. In S. Hai-Jew (Ed.), Packaging Digital Information for Enhanced Learning and Analysis: Data Visualization, Spatialization, Predictiveness, and Multidimensionality. IGI global. (Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design). 10.4018/978-1-4666-4462-5.ch015


• Rehm, M & Konnerup, U 2013, 'Immersive Virtual Worlds for (E-) Learning: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda'. in Immersive Environments, Augmented Realities and Virtual Worlds: Assessing Future Trends in Education. IGI global, pp. 238-256., 10.4018/978-1-4666-2670-6.ch014


• Bidwell, N. J., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Kapuire, G. K., & Rehm, M. (2011). Pushing Personhood into Place: Situating Media in the Transfer of Rural Knowledge in Africa. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 69(10), 618-631. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2011.02.002


• Leichtenstern, K., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2011). Tool-Supported User-Centred Prototyping of Mobile Applications. International Journal of Handheld Computing Research, 2(3). 10.4018/jhcr.2011070101


• Rehm, M. (2010). Nonsymbolic Gestural Interaction for Ambient Intelligence. In H. Aghajan, R. L-C. Delgado, & J. C. Augusto (Eds.), Human-Centric Interfaces for Ambient Intelligence. (pp. 327-345). Chapter 13. Academic Press, Incorporated.


• Leichtenstern, K., André, E., & Rehm, M. (2010). Using Hybrid Simulations for Early User Evaluations of Pervasive Interactions. In NordiCHI 2010: Extending Boundaries - Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. (pp. 315-324). Association for Computing Machinery. 10.1145/1868914.1868952


• Rodil, K., Løvborg Jensen, K., Rehm, M., & Winschiers-Theophilus, H. (2013). Identifying and Representing Elements of Local Contexts in Namibia. In M. Kurosu (Ed.), Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction. (Vol. 8006, pp. 332-341). Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Publishing Company. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science). 10.1007/978-3-642-39265-8_37


• Rodil, K., Eskildsen, S. & Rehm, M. (2012). Virtual Savannah: In Situ Test of a Virtual Learning 3D Visualization for children. In: K. Mitgutsch, H. Rosenstingl & J. Wimmer (eds), Applied Playfulness: Proceedings of the Vienna Games Conference 2011: Future and Reality of Gaming. New Academic Press, pp. 67-74.

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