The University of Wollongong Yellow House Virtual Reality Project

Michael Organ, Rebecca Daly, Neil Cairns from the University of Wollongong, Ted Mitew, myself and others in Graphics Design, History, Media and Politics disciplines have been collaborating on a VR project, for which we recently submitted an OLT seeding grant. Although we missed out we are intending to go forward with the project and seek the funds to develop the prototype stage.

The Yellow House pilot project will create an open access 3D, immersive and interactive virtual reality (VR) gallery based on the Sydney terrace house set up by artist Martin Sharp in the 1970s as an experimental art space.

Using Oculus Rift and similar virtual reality technologies, students and researchers will enter the virtual Yellow House gallery and engage with its historic elements. In addition, they will be able to modify their own Yellow House galley using the open data object created as part of the project.

The VR experience will serve as a virtual gallery space for experimentation and collaborative experiences between academics and students, and as a means for experiencing UOW Library’s expanding digital collections.

The Yellow House gallery will align and integrate with UOW curricula in Digital Communication and Media, and History and Design, for the purpose of readying students for the immersion of these technologies in business, academia and research environments.

This pilot project aims to build and deliver an open access, virtual 3D environment and web gallery for researchers and students to engage with University of Wollongong (UOW) Library collections focused on Australian counterculture art and publishing movements during the 1960s and 1970s.

The web portal will provide the gateway to: * the virtual reality Yellow House space; * open data files of this product for reuse, experimentation and redesign by others; and * related collections digitised by UOW Library, such as OZ and the Yellow House collection, among others.

This gallery will be an extension of existing work undertaken by the UOW Library, including the acquisition and digitisation of significant historical Australian collections, such as OZ magazine, and the recent acquisition of the important Yellow House collection of materials.

The gallery will be incorporated into the Library’s existing Digital Collections portal space, and will include the technical capability for students and other users to share their experiences and stories regarding their experiments with the open source files, thus offering students a cutting edge model in which to engage with content.

Minimal research has been done on the Yellow House art collective, to date. Looking at the development of the Yellow House over time enables moving beyond images to encapsulate what is taking place in the social and cultural movements and political discourse of the nation at that time.

This offers a range of new research possibilities into visual communication culture. The web portal will provide a space for researchers, students and the community to contribute to the body of knowledge for this period in Australian history.

//Sidenote. Written into the application, but not very well documented in the rationale, is the provision for the development of a student VR portfolio to potentially offer the student an interface between their work, discipline and degree neutral, for others to interact with and experience. This might be a virtual library, a gallery, an office or hallway, it could be a studio or open environment. Of course, much of this is speculating that commercial VR will be a success at the end of 2016, and on its ways to becoming a ubiquitous technology. The open access and open source Yellow House VR project is a means to test the potential here

4 thoughts on “The University of Wollongong Yellow House Virtual Reality Project

  1. Pingback: DIGC310 – VR with Unreal Engine | Matt Keats

  2. Pingback: The rise of VR and texture issues in Unreal Engine | Digital Game Cultures

  3. Pingback: Disruptive technology: A look at virtual reality | International Librarians Network

  4. Pingback: Play & Reflect 6: The ‘next big thing’ in libraries – Virtual Reality – Kylie's IFN612 Blog

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