World-leading virtual technology showcases architecture degree work

Student architecture pageThe Faculty’s School of Architecture have used cutting edge technology to launch a fully interactive, fully immersive and virtual student degree exhibition.

The Summer Exhibition is the centre piece of many Schools of Architecture, celebrating a year of achievements. At Sheffield, students curate their own space to present their best work to an audience that includes sponsors, employers, family, friends and members of the public.

As closely as possible the School aimed to recreate the experience of visiting the student exhibition, giving virtual visitors the same sensory cues of sounds, visuals and detailed content that a physical visitor would enjoy..What makes this virtual exhibition unique is the quality of the photography, its uncompromising approach to immersion and most importantly its ability to preserve context.

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.

The virtual tour will become a valuable asset to students in raising their profile and showcasing work to potential employers. In the future, they will have the opportunity to come up with new and innovative ideas as to how their work can be best presented and communicated using this unique platform. It will become a truly collaborative process that develops in scale and value with each year, because, just like the exhibition itself, at Sheffield, students lead the way.

Media Unit Manager, Ralph Mackinder explains: “The ability to communicate complex and new ideas to diverse audiences is thehallmark 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.”

Ralph has worked for several months on the project from concept through to the fully polished, professional product. The virtual exhibition is made of many 360 degree photographs, videos, images and documents that make up both the physical space and the students exhibition content.