How can digital technology bring exhibitions to life?

07 Sep 2022

Recently, Learning Mall built a virtual exhibition on Matterport and displayed student works at the Department of Architecture. The platform uses 3D cameras and can turn any space into an accurate and immersive digital twin.

The exhibition, “Living Space and Landscape”, showcases the best works from the module Design and Building Typology (ARC 205) and presents students’ contemporary strategies for better living.

ARC 205: Architecture Exhibition 2021-2022

Explore the exhibitions online

Silvia Albano, Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture and the curator of the exhibition, says: “I came up with the idea of setting up a virtual exhibition so that our students will not miss the chance to celebrate their success and inspire each other through their works.”

On the exhibition interface, visitors can “walk” around the space easily with a computer mouse and arrow keys. They can also click on each model and poster to have a clearer look at the digital version.

Architecture student Weiyu Nong’s work

Architecture student Weiyu Nong, whose work is showcased, says that many exhibitions could not be held on campus because of the epidemic, but a virtual tour encourages students to participate in school activities.

She also thinks the exhibition is like a small-scale metaverse, in which everyone is the creator and user of the embodied virtual reality.

Another viewer says that this exhibition reminds him of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art virtually, where users can also click to see the details of each workpiece.

“In recent years, the integration of architecture and virtual interaction has also become a popular research topic, such as how virtual technology affects the existing architectural space of human beings,” says Nong.

Learning Mall’s support
When receiving the request, Kenneth Simmons, Educational Technologist of XJTLU Learning Mall (LM), recommended Matterport to build the exhibition. “It is a dynamic and effective platform for relaying spatial information,” he says.

Simmons’s interest in Extended Reality (XR) predated the start of the epidemic. “With the onset of the worldwide lockdowns, I could see greater efficacy for the use of XR at times where travel and general human interactions have been curtailed.”

Kenneth Simmons (second from right) explains XR to colleagues on XJTLU Learning Day

He also says that LM enables the exploration of tools and different aspects of technology. “The flexibility LM offers to the team has been a significant help, which led to the success of the virtual exhibition.”

LM has completed another project with the Department of Architecture on a virtual tour of the Design Building. In the future, LM will collaborate with the Department of Chemistry on virtual labs. The new Learning Mall XR Innovation Centre is also under construction.

By Anyi Liu and Yi Qian
Edited by Xinmin Han
Photos courtesy of Learning Mall

07 Sep 2022


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