The CMA is engaged in a number of innovative projects to highlight the potential impact of technological advances in creative industries and advance teaching and learning and therefore contribute to the sustainability of the sector as a whole.
Led by Professor Nick Higgins, UWS Immersive is a multi-disciplinary research and teaching project tasked to engage with immersive virtual and augmented reality technologies to transform the way we teach, conduct our research and engage with society. It is well known that bringing fun into education increases its effectiveness by increasing motivation and memory retention. Through our latest research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 5G technologies, digital fabrication, gamification and sensors technologies and multi-campus deployment, UWS Immersive aim to uniquely redefine our pedagogical practice and position UWS at the forefront of technological revolution.
Supported by the UWS Strategic Investment Fund, uws.io is a pilot platform, providing a digital space where students, staff and creative practitioners can co-produce a variety of ‘live’ editions of digital third space.
Issues included ‘The Circuit’, Scotland’s first 360° virtual reality film of an immersive day at the races (shot at the Ayr Races) which premiered as part of the inaugural VR Cinema at the Glasgow Short Film Festival. The film was also presented to and enjoyed equestrian Princess Anne at the British Embassy in Beijing in Summer 2017.
Funded by University of the West of Scotland and Renfrewshire Council, Paisley Pearls is the outcome of the 2016 inaugural UWS Paisley Digital Art Commission originated by UWS Creative Media Academy director Professor Nick Higgins in collaboration with New Media Scotland.
The winners of the commission, artist duo Vicky Isley and Paul Smith aka boredomresearch, were tasked with creating a project that would support Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.
The artists sought to reimagine the Paisley Pattern in a form both befitting the digital age, whilst also embodying the incredible diversity of natural forms that can be found within Paisley’s world renowned museum collections.
Employing bespoke generative coding techniques, the Paisley Pearls project set out to create a unique digital version of the pattern, not only for every resident of Paisley, but for every resident of the world – 7.3 billion people.
Over a period of 12 months, the artists delivered workshops to UWS students, Renfrewshire schoolchildren and elderly groups. At each of these workshops the artists developed and refined their software, building on the local community engagement to give life to a unique 3D digital form.
Since 2014, every Wednesday in Ayr, students and staff have been invited to get involved with a series of creative activities, screenings, masterclasses and professional practice sessions designed to both inspire and prepare students for the real world of creative industry employment.
Masterclass sessions have included award-winning film and TV industry experts including Oscar nominees Gillian Berrie and David McKenzie (Sigma Films), James Gey-Rees (Producer of Senna), Tommy Gormley (First Assistant Director and Associate Producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Iain Smith OBE (Mad Max: Fury Road, Children of Men, The Fifth Element).
Videos of the masterclass sessions are available: 'Professor Nick Higgins in conversation with'