Augmented Reality to bring Bath’s Forest of Imagination to life

27 MAY 2016, BATH, UK
Summary
A specially-designed augmented reality app will allow people to unlock a host of ‘hidden forests’ at this year’s Forest of Imagination pop-up arts event in Bath this summer.

Designed by Bath based future-technology development agency Media Grand in collaboration with Neil Glen from Bath Spa University, Wayne Lindsay of Imaginnovation and Martin Coohill from Grant Associates, the ‘Forest Eyes’ app will bring a fascinating virtual dimension to the free contemporary arts event taking place in spaces around Bath Abbey from 3-6 June 2016.

Forest of Imagination aims to offer people of all ages an immersive journey to both imagined and real forests, including the fragile forest ecosystem of Madagascar.

The Forest Eyes app will offer three AR experiences:

‘Abbey Vines’ reveals Bath’s iconic abbey overgrown by lush giant vanilla orchid vines with huge butterflies fluttering past.

Four ‘Forest Portals’ allow intrepid visitors to Forest of Imagination to journey to new worlds. Explore the Coral Reef Forest, Kelp Forest, Madagascan Spiny Forest, or Enchanted Forest.

Finally, the ‘Urban Forest’ invites people to become an architect come landscape designer and redesign Bath with new structures, and beautiful forests full of plants and wildlife. Designs can be geocoded for others to find and like.

In addition to the app, smart device users can also scan QR codes on three giant inflatable, ‘Guardian of the Forest’ baobab trees, positioned just outside the abbey, for information about the unique tree species found only in Madagascar.

The Forest Eyes app adds to Forest of Imagination’s soundscapes, outdoor galleries and workshops that all aim to inspire the imagination, and underline the connectivity of forests and peoples across the globe. In particular, the event aims to raise awareness of Bristol Zoo’s conservation project in Madagascar that is working to secure the future of endangered lemur species.

Forest Eyes will be available from 1 June to download free from the App Store and Google Play Store for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

2016 is the third year running that Bath will host Forest of Imagination. The event is the brainchild of a collaborative team of Bath-based creative organisations, including landscape architects Grant Associates, arts-based charity 5x5x5=creativity, creative consultancy Imaginnovation and architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Key event partners include Bristol Zoo and Bath Spa University.

Paul Lewis, Director, Media Grand, comments: “Augmented reality is a brilliant way to combine live and digital experiences, opening up whole new worlds in front of people’s eyes. Forest of Imagination is the perfect kind of occasion at which to show the full potential of this clever technology.Furthermore, we get to be part of an amazing creative event in our home city, working with some of Bath's finest creative minds, delivering unique and new AR experiences that the whole world will associate with Bath.”

Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates, comments: “Augmented reality offers a new dimension to this year’s Forest of Imagination. The visual feast offered by the Forest Eyes App, along with the event’s installations, soundscapes, galleries and activities really will profile the spectrum of creativity in Bath. Through this art we are also featuring the importance of fragile habitats and biodiversity, particularly unique ecosystems like those found in Madagascar.”

Ends.

Quotes
"Augmented reality is a brilliant way to combine live and digital experiences, opening up whole new worlds in front of people’s eyes. Forest of Imagination is the perfect kind of occasion at which to show the full potential of this clever technology.Furthermore, we get to be part of an amazing creative event in our home city, working with some of Bath's finest creative minds, delivering unique and new AR experiences that the whole world will associate with Bath." Paul Lewis, Director, Media Grand
"Augmented reality offers a new dimension to this year’s Forest of Imagination. The visual feast offered by the Forest Eyes App, along with the event’s installations, soundscapes, galleries and activities really will profile the spectrum of creativity in Bath. Through this art we are also featuring the importance of fragile habitats and biodiversity, particularly unique ecosystems like those found in Madagascar." Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates
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About Forest of Imagination

Forest of Imagination is a four-day participatory, contemporary arts event and creative learning programme for all ages. From Friday 3 June – Monday 6 June 2016 the spaces around Bath Abbey will be radically transformed into an innovative and inspiring place for contemporary creativity and intuitive play, providing an immersive experience for all.