Exhibition showcases use of virtual reality for digital archives

A Wellington Museum exhibition organised in partnership with the University’s Faculty of Architecture and Design will showcase how digital technology can help document New Zealand’s architectural history.

The Immersive Legacies: 320 The Terrace exhibition

The Immersive Legacies: 320 The Terrace exhibition runs from 19 October at the Museum, and there is an opening event on Friday 18 October. The exhibition is part of Wellington Heritage Week.

The exhibition presents the residential flats at 320 The Terrace, as a case study for the generation of digital heritage. Led by the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design Professor Marc Aurel Schnabel, the project is designed to show how virtual reality technologies can provide new ways of exploring and understanding heritage buildings.

University chief operating officer Mark Loveard, who will open the exhibition, says it is an exciting project that provides innovative new tools to enable cities to resolve the tension between preserving unsafe or outdated buildings, and urban renewal.   “It’s an excellent use of virtual reality technology to enable buildings and oral histories to be digitally preserved for future generations to explore.”

The project began as part of the University’s Summer Scholarship programme, with Master’s students Jessie Rogers and David Silcock and undergraduate student Hannah Rushton developing a VR experience to recreate the flats within the building. They looked at the original plans for the flats and used computer modelling software to produce a digital version of the layout. They also visited the site to collect data on the layout and design, and took thousands of photos of the interior and exterior.

Senior lecturer in Interdisciplinary Digital Design technologies Tane Moleta says the exhibition showcases the University’s strengths in virtual reality technologies and the exciting possibilities open to students at the School of Design.

“It’s a great chance for prospective students and their parents to get a hands-on experience with this kind of technology and to get a glimpse of the cutting edge work our students are able to achieve.”

More information is available here.