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Art meets technology in biggest Virtual Reality-Lab of Antwerp

AP University College is building the first fully-fledged VR lab in the province of Antwerp. The University College receives 452,000 euros in subsidies from the innovation budget of Minister Muyters.

The VR lab (or "Immersive Lab") will be equipped with the latest technologies in the field of Virtual and Augmented Reality. It will be the first lab and knowledge center of its kind in the wider region. There are still a lot of unused and unknown possibilities in terms of VR and AR, and the researchers at AP Hogeschool want to play a pioneering role in this.

Computer-generated art

The VR story began with research platform MAXlab at the Royal Academy, which has been working on the interaction between art and digital technology for years. "MAXlab consists of a group of visual artists who foster the integration of digital techniques in classical art education," says Kristof Timmerman, researcher and chairman of the group. “New art forms such as computer-generated art, social media art and virtual reality thus gain a place within the art Academy. We see the artist as an observer who reflects on the rapidly evolving technology and the societal and social transformation that comes with it. ”

“New art forms such as computer-generated art, social media art and virtual reality thus gain a place within the art Academy. We see the artist as an observer who reflects on the rapidly evolving technology and the social and social transformation that comes with it.”

Professionals from a variety of sectors (such as prevention advisors, marketeers and professionals from the healthcare sector) will use the Immersive Lab of the AP university college. An interesting group that also includes the Academy and the Conservatoire. "The virtual environment that is now being created is knowledge center for the whole university college community: musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists can experiment, gain knowledge and test situations."

The last week of August also marks the start of the Summerschool "Storytelling in VR", a training where students and professionals in journalism, game design, film, photography and other arts delve into topics such as immersion, user-centered design, storytelling, and VR content. "We also organize master classes at the Academy where the students get the chance to design a VR world of their own," says Timmerman. "That way we can continue to develop and implement the tools through experiments.”