I recently began my PhD research journey exploring mixed reality storytelling in the smart city, as part of an AHRC Funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with McCann Manchester, the Virtual Engineering Centre and the Centre for Architecture and Visual Arts at Liverpool University.
My focus is looking at how immersive media technologies (such as mixed reality (AR/VR), internet of things, locative media, sensors and data) can be used to create imaginative interactions between people and place by connecting them to heritage and culture. My aim is to find ways to conceptualise and develop prototypes to make urban spaces more playful, imaginative & emotive through the use of mixed reality creative technologies and networked storytelling for visitors– which will hopefully be useful knowledge for future filmmakers, gamesmakers, advertisers, place marketers, placemakers, place hackers and urban designers.
The Practice-based PhD also involves a number of other collaborations within Arts, Culture organisations mainly in Manchester and Liverpool.
Over the past few months I have been collaborating with a number of partners on the ‘Beacons for Science’ project in Manchester, which is aiming to create an innovative app to experience Science in the City through Augmented and Virtual reality. Using beacon technology to enable people to experience science in new ways as they navigate the city.
My role has been to co-ordinate the development of the virtual reality and augmented story content, produced with the support of a number of cultural partners, artists, scientists and co-creators from around Manchester, and to work with the developers to shape the mixed reality user-experience.
There are a number of cool features in the app, including virtual reality experiences that are triggered when walking around Manchester as well as interactive augmented reality content that we created. There are about 15 experiences in total that were created as a result of a series of hack labs taking place in Manchester as part of the European City of Science calendar.
We have also been involved in a series of public engagement events to showcase the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content across Manchester during the Euroscience Open Forum 2016 Conference, that has brought over 4000 scientists to the city.
Download the app here:
Here’s a short showreel of some of the 360 content and some images from the project:
“As connected devices and services continue to develop, filmmakers will be able to place a story layer over the real world. Inanimate objects and physical locations will become an opportunity to extend stories and engage audiences in ways that propel 21st-century storytelling.” Lance Weiler
This project is exploring the possibilities for transmedia, augmented and virtual reality storytelling by creating a number of experimental films that fuse filmmaking, digital environments and creative technologies. I am particularly interested in the way that these immersive environments create new forms of embodiment and can help us to experience geographical space in new ways.
Many people argue that VR can lead to highly empathetic and emotional kinds of storytelling experiences, which could have a number of applications for the social sciences, humanities and the arts. They therefore have really strong potential for storytellers addressing issues related to personal, cultural, social and behavioural change.
Filmmakers and storytellers who are working in this area are also having to rethink the way that they design ‘story architecture’ around non-linear forms of transmedia engagement. It is therefore an inter-disciplinary project that explores a range of areas such as the behavioural and cognitive sciences, user-experience design, immersive performance and transmedia storytelling.
We are currently developing a number of projects, campaigns and teaching initiatives with partners and organisations under this banner, so stay tuned for updates as they develop…
In the meantime, follow the Immersive Storylab on twitter for updates and links to work that we think is really exciting. Or get in touch with me to discuss a project via: mail (at) petewoodbridge.info
I’ve recently been working on the development of a BA (Hons) Degree in Digital Media at Coventry School of Art and Design. It’s a brand new degree exploring media design, storytelling, digital arts and digital culture.
Students will be working on convergent media projects in content production, moving-image, storytelling, speculative design and a number of related areas across the digital arts. Designed for learners who want to be hybrid-media artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs in the increasing pervasive digital realm.
First year modules will explore digital culture, convergent multimedia production, digital publishing, storytelling and creative technology. The year will culminate in an intensive ‘creative hack lab’ project where students put their problem solving, innovation and design skills to the test with a live brief.
The second year will explore the creative and critical side of the digital arts, along with modules in digital advertising, transmedia storytelling and opportunities to undertake professional experience. There will also be options to develop skills in other areas of media production, including photography, experimental media and short film as well as opportunities to undertake visits with international partner organisations.
The final year will focus on critical digital research methods, exploring how to use creative technologies for research and the creation of new forms of knowledge, products and artistic expression. Students will then use their skills to develop a final research project, aimed at creating cutting-edge experiences and speculative possibilities for the future.
The degree is underpinned by an interdisciplinary approach to the design and analysis of digital culture and media, drawing on a range of methodologies from the digital and media arts, sciences, business and creative computing subject areas. It will be addressing the implications, challenges and possibilities of living in a world of disruptive innovation, peer 2 peer collaboration, connected devices, augmentation, pervasive storytelling, automation, big data and the internet of things and exploring this through projects that challenge and critique it.
Students will be involved in live projects, real industry and cultural briefs and working simulations that are informed by problem-based, activity-led and challenge-based learning methodologies. This will be supported by technology-enhanced learning approaches in a department that is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to learning design.
To find out more about the digital media research work in the Department of Media please visit the Centre for Disruptive Media website.
Culture Machine Live is a podcast series dedicated to discussions of culture and theory.
and many more
Editors: Janneke Adema, Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Pete Woodbridge.
Living Books About Life is a series of curated, open access books about life — with life understood both philosophically and biologically — which provide a bridge between the humanities and the sciences. Produced by a globally-distributed network of writers and editors, the books in the series repackage existing open access science research by clustering it around selected topics whose unifying theme is life such as air, agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, neurology and pharmacology.
By creating twenty one ‘living books about life’ in just seven months, the series represents an exciting new model for publishing, in a sustainable, low-cost manner, many more such books in the future. These books can be freely shared with other academic and non-academic institutions and individuals. Taken together, they constitute an engaging interdisciplinary resource for researching and teaching relevant science issues across the humanities, a resource that is capable of enhancing the intellectual and pedagogic experience of working with open access materials.
All the books in the series are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers. As well as repackaging open access science research — along with interactive maps, visualisations, podcasts and audio-visual material — into a series of books, Living Books About Life is thus engaged in rethinking ‘the book’ itself as a living, collaborative endeavour in the age of open science, open education, open data and e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad. The book that I worked on, along with Janneke Adema, explored the way that concepts and ideas around the theme of Symbiosis can be applied to a number of areas within the (digital/networked) humanities.
Living Books About Life is a collaboration between Open Humanities Press and three academic institutions: Coventry University, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Kent. Funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and published by Open Humanities Press (OHP) (http://openhumanitiespress.org). The Editors of the series are Clare Birchall (University of Kent), Gary Hall (Coventry University), Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths, University of London). Other members of the project team include Sigi Jőttkandt (Open Humanities Press), David Ottina (Open Humanities Press) and myself (Coventry University).
Over the past few months I have been working with Jonathan Worth and the Photography Team at Coventry University to develop an iPhone App for a free and open undergraduate course called ‘Picturing the Body’.
The ‘trendsetting’ app has been mentioned by the British Journal of Photography, PDN Pulse, Times Higher Education and Professional Photographer Magazine. The innovative class, and the innovations associated with it, have been described by one of the teams collaborators as ‘an innovation in photography education’ and by Wired’s Rawfile team as ‘Blowing minds & shifting paradigms in photo education’.
The beta App allows people to engage with the community of practitioners and students who are taking part in the course. Pulling in photographs from Flickr, content from the blog, comments from Twitter as well as a range of photography podcasts from our iTunes U Project.
The intention is to see whether mobile applications can enhance the experience of being involved in the course and to help us to think about future developments in this area as part of our mantra for Open Media at Coventry University. Since the launch of this app, we have been involved in developing a number of innovations for mobile based learning, including the launch of the MediaPRO – Media Production Course App
(The image at the top and on my homepage – Crash Courtesy of Jonathan Shaw)
The Picbod App was developed as a part of my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. You can find the poster presentation of the PICBOD App here. Thanks to all the colleagues, students and other people who were involved in its development.
I initiated and project manag the Coventry University partnership with Apple’s iTunes U, enabling us to significantly raise our international profile through open sharing of teaching and research resources.
At the time of launch in June 2009 we were the 6th UK institution to launch our content through this platform and since its inception it has grown to include over 600 open multimedia resources ranging from lectures to online tutorials.
The site now attracts thousands of visitors every week and now has over 7 million hits (including the other sites where we send the content to) and includes a diverse portfolio of free content from across the University. It also enabled the University to be Highly Commended for ‘Innovation and Creative Thinking Campaign’ at the 2010 HEIST Awards. bank of america site down . As well as paving the way for a number of funded projects in the area of Open Access for the University and the development of further applications and projects.
Find out more information about the CU on iTunes U project
I initiated and develop this project, whose aim was to set up an online channel for Coventry University. To date the CUTV channel has had over two million views. It includes a range of videos including lectures, research projects and student work from around Coventry University. browser test tool . It is helped with the support of a number of people around Coventry University including students and staff from the Media Production degree.
The CUTV project is also part of the Youtube Edu global education platform, which includes thousands of free academic videos from YouTube’s educational partners around the world.