Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Re-Imagining Campus Spaces: Monuments and Re-Telling History

Students will choose a monument on their campus and conduct research on its historical significance and how the monument upholds systems of power. Each student will rename one campus space and collectively create an Augmented Reality (AR) gallery of a new, reimagined campus.

Published onNov 02, 2021
Re-Imagining Campus Spaces: Monuments and Re-Telling History


With ongoing conversations about the ties of higher education institutions to a history of settler colonialism and white supremacy, the move to understand the often ignored history of these places and re-imagine these sites as places that are inclusive to those who have historically been kept out or ignored has become increasingly important. The use of Augmented Reality (AR) to reimagine campus spaces is an important way to incorporate the digital humanities into conversations about decolonial thought and settler colonialism. This project asks students to pay closer attention to the things that may often be overlooked in their daily interactions on campus. Students will choose a monument on their campus-- a statue, a building, or any other memorial structure-- and conduct research on its historical significance and the work the monument does to uphold certain systems of power. Each student will rename one campus space and collectively create an AR gallery of a new, reimagined campus.

Session Specifics

This lesson plan has a lot of variety and can be implemented in different learning environments for unique educational or community building purposes. Therefore, this project may be assigned during workshops, semester-long classes or online learning. This lesson would work best presented as a series of workshops inside of the classroom. Additionally, students will spend 3-6 hours outside of the workshop for his assignment.

Questions to Consider: 

  • Whose history is memorialized through this monument? 

  • What kind of narrative is produced and what ideas are upheld through this narrative? 

  • What histories are erased or left out of the narrative? 

  • How are minority and Native communities impacted by these buildings/spaces?


These projects can be viewed on multiple platforms including mobile devices, computers and much more! To view AR on flat surfaces (white board, poster or piece of paper) print the image that you would like to launch the AR on.


The target audience is high school and college students. However, this project can be widely used in community spaces to pay homage to the original peoples of the land we occupy and decolonize/reimagine community spaces. This project can be adapted to community spaces more broadly in the place of campus buildings and/or monuments such as: community parks, historical buildings/monuments, hospitals, churches, etc. Additionally, this curriculum may be assigned to individuals to complete independently or for groups to produce a collective and all encapsulating cookbook of their diverse backgrounds.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will learn how to conduct archival research on campus monuments. 

  2. Students will be able to re-imagine their campus and produce alternate names for buildings or alternate monuments that take into account the history of Native peoples and marginalized groups on campus. 

  3. Students will be able to formulate arguments for the need to re-imagine campus monuments supported by research and produce/offer name recommendations that can be presented to school administrators to realize their vision for an alternate university.


Instructors: In preparation for teaching these modules, instructors should familiarize themselves with Artitive and tools provided to understand the application, as well as produce sample images. They should also take the time to research and select different campus monuments and buildings to discuss with the class. The instructor should also consult with the university or institutional archivist if there is one to discuss the history of campus monuments.


  • Go on a campus tour individually or in a group and observe buildings/monuments to then research and give a historical summary of. These can be locations the instructor selects or others chosen by students. 

  • Download Artivive and Adobe Photoshop.

  • Read and view the selected readings:


Mobile device or camera to take photos. 

Mobile device or computer device with one or more of the following applications downloaded: Adobe Photoshop, Artivive, Adobe Spark.

Session Instructions

  • Choose a building or monument on campus. Consider why this particular space interests you? 

  • Once you have chosen a building/monument, you will conduct historical (archival) research on the building. Ask yourself, whose history is being told and what narratives are being left out? What communities are not talked about? The purpose of conducting background research is to understand the building’s history in order to understand whose history is not reproduced and reimagine a more inclusive space. Write a short description (4-5 sentences) of the historical background of the building. 

  • Once you have conducted historical research, brainstorm ideas for renaming the building to create an inclusive space. What space do you imagine? What kind of campus would you like to attend? Whose name would you like to see on the building? Why? How would its new name acknowledge the original peoples of the land and be inclusive to all ethnicities/races? How do you imagine decolonizing the space to document and reproduce the histories of communities that are silenced? Write a short description (4-5 sentences) of why you renamed the building and how its renaming contributes to decolonizing campus spaces. 

  • After you have conducted archival research and reimagined/renamed the campus building, take your mobile phone or camera and take a picture of the building/monument.    

  • Once you have your image, you will begin adding the AR components to your image. You can begin by using Adobe Photoshop to edit your image and your mobile phone to record any video/audio you want to include. Next, you will upload your project to Artivive and add the AR aspect to the image, which can include a slideshow video, screen recorded video, or a 3-D image.

  • Your augmented reality project should be around 40 seconds long when it plays. This must be presented through the method that you feel best allows you to present your information and ideas. There are multiple methods to create an AR project, which include:

  • Your Augmented Reality must include: image of the building, historical background of the building, and why you chose to rename it to what you did. This can be in the form of an audio and/or video component to your image. 

  • Upon selecting your preferred method, refer to these tutorials and follow the instructions to execute your project. 

  • After the curation of your project, you (along with your peers) will add your image to an Adobe Spark page to create an Augmented Reality Gallery of an alternate campus that acknowledges all peoples.


For this assignment, you are responsible for renaming at least one campus space. Individually, your renamed building should include:

  • An image of the building-- this image should include Augmented Reality components that highlights the renaming of the building.

  • A historical background of the building that explains how the building upholds structures of power

  • A description of the renamed building and how this reimagined space contributes to decolonizing the campus

  • See rubric below for assessment of the technical portion of assignment and overall grading for mechanics, as well as the Augmented Reality components.


5 points

3-4 points

1-2 points

Step 2: Background research and pre-production

Overall summary of AR focus is excellent and requires minimal changes. Sources are robust and referenced appropriately. Outline and/or script is comprehensive.

Overall summary of AR focus is average and could be improved. Sources are adequate and referenced appropriately. Outline and/or script is adequate.

Overall summary of AR focus is minimal or incomplete. Sources are minimal and/or referenced inappropriately. Outline/script is lacking inquiry.

Step 3: Creating images/videos

Images/videos/audio are clearly related to the topic and include the necessary includes for one of the three methods.

Images/videos/audio are related to the topic and includes some elements for one of the three methods.

Images/videos/audio are not clearly related to the topic and some elements of the method chosen are missing.

Step 4: Augmented reality production and publication

All required elements are present and used creatively exceeding assignment expectations. AR is published to Artivive.

All required elements are present, but more effort could have been made in creative execution. AR is published to Artivive.

Some required elements are missing and/or more effort could have been made in creative execution. AR is published to Artivive.


  • Favela, J., Ortega, E. (2017, August 31) Not My Monument (No. 39). In Latinos Who Lunch.

  • Minthorn, R. S. & Nelson, C. A. (2018). Colonized and racist Indigenous campus tour. Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, 4(1), 73-88.

    • This reading offers a framework that uses Indigenous understandings of power and place to analyze how these two work to perpetuate settler colonialism on university campuses. The article can be used as a key reference for helping students understand potential goals for their research. 

  • Native Land Digital.

    • Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. This map is in honor of all the Indigenous Nations [of colonial states]. It seeks to encourage people Native and non-Native to remember that these were once a vast land of autonomous Native peoples, who called the land by many different names according to their languages and geography.

  • Weissman, S. (2020, July 16). What's in a Name? After Years of Student Activism, Universities Rename Campus Building. Retrieved from

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?