The research environment in the studio is shaped by our criticality and our curiosity as we explore the capabilities of both popular and emergent immersive technologies – ranging from the now familiar virtual worlds made popular by contemporary computer games to the brittle technologies and challenging workflows of performance capture, haptic feedback and interactive experience design.

Our studio is a place to investigate how individuals, groups and academic environments make use of the benefits of immersive technology for practice and research and mitigate its challenges – particularly those baked in through design.

In addition to the priority areas set up in our residency call, our researchers are currently exploring the following:

Forms, Practices and Aesthetics

  • How are emergent and popular immersive technologies advancing new aesthetics, new forms, new workflows and new creative processes and practices?
  • How do these technologies invite new ways of configuring, imagining and realising the relationship between bodies, technologies, physical and virtual spaces?
  • What are the real opportunities and challenges presented by hybrid forms of practice – practices that include collaboration/performance/engagement across physical and virtual spaces?
  • How does it feel to perform with immersive technology – can we deepen our understanding not just of how to use these new technologies, but how they can and do affect us, body and mind, as performers?

Experiences and Audiences

  • Evolving new ‘on-stage’ applications of immersive technology – how can we simultaneously deliver engaging immersive content to theatre-sized audiences in a locally practicable way?
  • What new best practices are emerging or can be developed for hybrid performances - those that combine real and virtual worlds for both audiences and performances?
  • How can opportunities for data gathering about audience interactions and feedback be built into immersive experiences to inform personalisation, iterative design and measuring key performance indicators?
  • How can we embed AI in the performance pipeline – beyond composition, how might AI shape the way we deliver live performance?

New ways of knowing, new forms of knowledge

  • By interrogating and expanding the ways new technologies are imagined, how might we best promote equitable, inclusive, sustainable and trustworthy innovation?
  • How can immersive technologies and techniques expand (scientific) world-building and models to spaces that include sensory experiences, expression, and experimentation?
  • How will researchers and artists inquire about the nature of information given new virtual and immersive aesthetics? How will they explore complex, intangible and distant information using immersive technology?
  • How might cultural reference points, narrative framing and fictional scenarios play a crucial role in shaping human judgements about immersive technology?