Our BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students have been working with the community on the “Love the Arbo” project as part of their Immersive and Sensory Design module in their second year.
“Love The Arbo” is a free enchanted trail of light for all to explore based in the Arboretum community, which lies in the heart of the City of Worcester. Taking place around Valentine’s Day in February each year, “Love The Arbo” is a community event where window displays using all kinds of materials, lights and sounds are made by the hands of the residents themselves! This year BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students were invited to work with the Committee to develop a series of immersive installations in the Pocket Park, within the Arboretum.
“Love the Arbo” gained investment from the Arches Worcester project, which is funded by the Cultural Development Fund, and together with funding from the School of Arts’ Learning and Teaching Fund, the students’ concepts became a reality on Saturday February 12th.
Helen Holmes, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Digital Media Production at the University of Worcester said, ”It has been a delight to work with the Love the Arbo team. This has been an invaluable opportunity for our students to collaborate with the community, and to see their creative concepts through to final products, in action. We hope this is just the beginning of our partnership and have many ideas for future development.”
Each of the five teams of students have now had time to reflect upon their work:
Student work: Phoebe West, Fi Neil, Jack Ashfield, Maria Vieira, Matilde Compos Moura and Ben Howse
We named our team Lux Animalis which means light animals in Latin, as our installation was based upon wild animals that you may discover around the world. As a group we wanted to make our display as bright and interesting as possible, something that all ages would enjoy and become engaged in. We believe our team achieved this and more! Our installation had two main eye catchers - a giant paper house and a huge paper rocket. The rocket had colourful lights around it and the house had a creative image projected onto it, which caught everyone's eye. We also had little paper buildings dotted around our section with different coloured lights shining inside them, which was a great photo opportunity that we saw many people take advantage of.
Overall, we are very proud of our team and what we learned and were able to achieve. We will be forever grateful for the display we were able to create, that was enjoyed by so many people.
Student work: Lauren Brown, Emily Baker, Callum Wilson, Kai Samuel and Aaron Bell
Our aim was to educate and to entertain small children, in elements of nature that may be found in a rainforest. Our installation consisted of creating two floor projections, that demonstrated six different birds plus a water sequence, showing a variety of fish, lily pads and a frog. Alongside these projections were bird and water sounds, in order to immerse the community in a sensory environment, to help them to feel calm.
We feel that our installation was successful. The community understood and identified with our rainforest concept. We believe we catered for everyone - during the event, there were visually impaired alumni and they said “I am glad that there were identifiable sounds as it helps me picture what I am hearing”. This warmed our hearts! We really enjoyed seeing the community enjoying our instillation, it made it all worthwhile. What we take away from this project is, the idea of being able to support everyone to receive and engage with information, regardless of sensory abilities.
Student work: Daniel Smith, Josef Bellamy, Amy Scott and Lorna Gwilliam
Our installations focussed on space. We created a miniature planetarium that featured the game of guess the two missing planets, to engage the visitors. We also created a galaxy patch that comprised of a sheet of fabric painted to look like a galaxy, with lights and hanging papier maché planets. Both segments also featured audio, to create an immersive atmosphere.
We enjoyed watching the community interact with our pieces in a positive manner throughout the night. It was a great opportunity.
Student work: Rachel Oliver, Stefani Slavcheva, Karolina Szlezak and Jake Sanders
Our creative concept was to create an immersive fairy-tale village using augmented reality, projections, light, models and sound. We were aiming for our audience to feel fully immersed when viewing our installation. We observed children interacting with the AR characters on the iPad, and the older generation enjoyed it too!
We felt this was a successful approach to the brief because we had very positive feedback from the clients, the BBC, and the community, all commenting that they felt immersed. In completing this project we were able to understand the journey of working in the creative industry with real clients, to create an immersive piece, and we really enjoyed the experience.
Student Work: Lucy Barugh, Ivo Soares, Todd Sassin, Fay Askew and Joe Toft
Our concept focused on the history of the Arboretum. The installation included a series of five boxes, each with an iPad inside, that showed a mini, visual video. Alongside this, the boxes had miniature scenes with people inside, which enhanced the immersive scene. To work alongside these boxes, a timeline was included which gave viewers a written description, describing what each box was about. It provided the chance to learn something new about the history of the Arboretum.
Our audience found it engaging to learn about the Arboretum and thought the idea of small boxes was clever. One visitor admitted that our display felt quite immersive in the fact that you were drawn to inside the box with the iPad.
We will take-away the feeling of working for a real-life client for a positive cause that impacts the local community and allows everybody onsite to take a break from realism.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the Digital Media students and team. Their creations made an amazing addition to our event and were welcomed by everyone who visited. The students all did a fantastic job of fitting in with the community at both the demonstration session and event itself. We look forward to building on this partnership with the University of Worcester!”
Kate Cox, Love the Arbo committee member
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