Glasgow & West Scotland

Exhibition brings fire-hit art school restoration to life

Immersive Mackintosh exhibition Image copyright Glasgow School of Art
Image caption A preview of the immersive Mackintosh exhibition

A new immersive exhibition aims to give a greater understanding of how the iconic Mackintosh Building was restored after a devastating fire.

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), working with digital media and software studio ISO, has been awarded almost £75,000 to develop a prototype.

The exhibit will focus on plaster casts, many of which were badly affected by the blaze in May 2014.

It is being funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Prof Tom Inns, director of the GSA, said: "Glasgow's creative economy is developing through collaborations including those between HE institutions and companies at the cutting edge of digital design.

"We are delighted to be working with our strategic industry partner, ISO, on this research project to explore innovative approaches to maximising the potential of new immersive and interactive technologies."

Interactive and immersive

The project will see GSA researchers collaborate with industry experts to create an interactive, immersive exhibit using 3D digital scans of the Mackintosh Building and the collection of plaster casts which were in the building at the time of the fire.

The prototype will take about six months to develop and will offer visitors the opportunity to engage more fully with the process of the restoration.

Once complete, the technology could then be applied to other aspects of the Mackintosh Building restoration and to create similar experiences for museums, art installations and visitor attractions.

Steve Love, senior researcher at the School of Simulation and Visualisation, said: "The prototype that we will be creating with this research grant will be an exemplar of how state-of-the-art digital technology can be used to enhance the visitor experience.

"It will help mitigate real and perceived obstacles that currently obstruct use of the technology more widely.

"Through the collaboration we will also demonstrate how industry professionals are critical voices that must be included in the conversation if projects such as this are to be successful."

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