The second day of the workshop explored the potential of the Oculus Rift and associated VR software (Janus browser and Unity) so the students could start to address how they might approach the ‘technical exhibition’ strand of the project. The day started with an introduction to the technology with LSFM Learning Advisor Mark Aldridge, who then tasked the students with heading out onto campus to film some footage with the 360° GoPro rig. Mark (with the help of KTP Jo Graham) then instructed the students of how to stitch this footage together using AutoPan for use within the Oculus Rift. This was an engaging activity designed to get the students out of the classroom and their hands on some exciting kit!
In the afternoon the student groups began generating ideas for both strands of the project. They were asked to ‘brain dump’ their initial responses to the brief in order to design both a workshop and some form of ‘technical exhibition’. This was a lively session, with the students coming up with lots of interesting ideas that could potentially be developed further throughout the rest of the workshop.
They were then asked to pick one of their ideas from each strand to concentrate on, addressing how this might run at Southbank, how many participants might be involved, what resources they might need, what message or particular theme they are trying to communicate, etc. Tutors were available for ‘floating feedback’, dropping in on the discussions to offer advice and help the students approach their ideas from a fresh perspective.
In the final session of the day, the organisers of Frequency Festival of Digital Culture popped in to discuss the logistical aspects of exhibiting at the Southbank Centre, and to listen to the students present the concepts that had been developed throughout the day. It was great for the students to get some professional advice from an external stakeholder. It was also really useful for helping them to identify what they would require to turn their ideas into a finished product, and to focus on a simple message that could be easily communicated to the public.