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Collusion's R&D Challenge: The Brink of the Future

Wisbech, augmented reality app, 3 - 5 November 2017

On Friday 3rd November, Collusion invited people to step into the future, 100 years from now, and journey with Pipp and her robot friend Caleb as they battle to save the region’s digital memory from draining into the Fens. 

At the launch weekend Wisbech residents enjoyed The Brink of The Future - a brand new web app using augmented reality and open source technology. Working with a team of artists and technologists from the surrounding area, Collusion's first R&D project gave people the opportunity to ‘walk through a vision of Wisbech’s future’. This was the first app to animate augments created using Google Blocks which can be accessed on multiple devices from a basic MP-3 player through to android smartphones and iPhones with the newly launched i05 11 operating system. 

How the project came together

Looking for local stories and voices, the lead artist, Lucy Sheerman, and Collusion organised two story workshops in early July as well as a gathering on 20 July with residents and key business people organised by Tin Fish Creative. The ideas, opinions and aspirations from different people from a variety of backgrounds and ages were instrumental in creating the story.

Lee Mason, digital artist, joined the development team to bring lead artist, Lucy Sheerman’s story to life. Lee pushed his creative practice by adopting a new and innovative approach using virtual reality (VR) tools to create the key assets. He was listed as one of the first designers under the Creatures category in Google Blocks, a product only launched in July 2017. Lee used 360 photography captured on location and edited within virtual reality using Google TiltBrush, to overlay the real view of the North Brink with the future vision in the story. Experiencing augmented reality in this way was an instant hit with visitors, who were also able to use Google Cardboard headsets to enjoy these on the launch weekend.

The models created by Lee were animated and integrated into the final experience by Mark Richardson (Tin Fish). Mark developed these skills using Open Source Blender software through the project.

The last element in the project creation was recording the narrative. We worked with local audio engineer, Sam Loose and in two recording sessions captured the audio of the story as well as memories and stories from seven Wisbech residents. The recording sessions were held at Octavia Hill Birthplace House over two days, with the first day allocated to narration and the second day used for local memories and stories from residents.

What's next?

Collusion's next project in Wisbech will commence in 2018. We shared more at our first Meetup of the year on 31st January 2018, at Octavia View, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 1JQ. We were joined by guest speaker James Delaney of internationally acclaimed design studio and consultancy Blockworks, who 'use Minecraft to create experiences, communities and learning environments'. Join the Meetup group to find out more about how to get involved in our next in_collusion project, simply click here


The programme is supported by Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence fund, the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, and tech partners, Arm and Cambridge Consultants. In addition, The Brink is supported by Market Place, the Creative People & Places initiative for Fenland and Forest Heath and Tin Fish Creative Communications.









Media Coverage

Greater Cambridge/Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, 17th October 2017 - The Brink of the Future’ – Step into a future paradigm of Wisbech set in 2117

Wisbech Standard, 31st October 2017 - Take a tour of Wisbech 100 years in the future thanks to new virtual reality mobile phone app