World-leading virtual technology showcases Sheffield School of Architecture 

To coincide with 50 years based in the Arts Tower, the University’s School of Architecture has created a fantastic virtual exhibition to show off the degree work of their students, and to take you back to the Arts Tower itself.

At the end of each academic year the Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) hosts their Summer Exhibition to celebrate a year of achievements and the top work from students across the School. Students curate their own space to present their best work to an audience that includes sponsors, employers, family, friends and members of the public.

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This year the School has used cutting-edge technology to bring you back to the Arts Tower, to let you experience the exhibition virtually. The project, led by Media Unit Manager Ralph Mackinder, aimed to recreate the experience of visiting the student exhibition as closely as possible, giving virtual visitors the same sensory cues of sounds, visuals and detailed content that a physical visitor would enjoy.

Together with letting you view the best work from the School, and moving around the exhibition space at the top of the Arts Tower, the interactive experience also includes notes on the history of the Tower, and little reminders of everyday life in the School.

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How it was created

Each scene has been captured using a panoramic gigapixel robotic mount from Swiss photographic company Seitz. With these super high resolution interior photographs, it is possible to resolve incredible detail on zooming in to displays and models while even looking out of the window at the view. This ability gives the virtual visitor a real opportunity to say ‘I’ve been there’ and assess a student’s work equally to those who could visit in person.

As Ralph Mackinder explains:

“The ability to communicate complex and new ideas to diverse audiences is the hallmark of an architects’ success.

“The virtual exhibition is an exciting proof of concept, which we hope will lead to further work utilising this technology in the discipline. We are already exploring the notions of ‘virtual site’ – documenting an entire retrofit residential property from construction to completion in 360-degree space, and ‘virtual pin-up’, our unique concept for remote examination, review and studio work.

“We think this could be a game changing platform for our students, our research and more generally a vehicle to showcase our school and our unique spaces to the world.”

Please click here to Visit the Virtual Exhibition.

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