Virtual display as UCLan shows degree exhibitions must go on

Creative students are planning a showcase with a difference when they set a new precedent.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 3:45 pm
UCLan launched its first ever online degree shows

The University of Central Lancashire has launched its degree and awards ceremony online for the first time ever.

The new showcase provides students and their families a 360-degree interactive insight into some of the outstanding creative art, media and textiles work from the past year.

The shows are usually held at various venues around the Preston city campus about because of the coronavirus pandemic that isn't possible this year.

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One of the designs due to feature in the shows designed by UCLan student Chelsea Barker

So, instead the university has devised innovative, creative shows from the various departments which can be accessed virtually, replacing the traditional, physical event, giving audiences the chance to enjoy an immersive online experience which will mirror an actual live celebration.

The event will enable students, parents, the public and members of industry to experience the show in almost exactly the same way they would do in the university’s on-campus degree shows, with interactive technology allowing them to view student portfolios and manoeuvre fully 360 degrees during online tours, enabling them to pause and move around exhibitions at their leisure.

This new interactive show was created by both students and staff from UCLan's academic and Innovation Lab teams, including former students who have used their collective skills and technology to create the online event space.

The launch, on Thursday, replicated the physical shows with introductory speeches by Vice-chancellor Graham Baldwin, Jenny Rutter, chair of Creative Lancashire and Jane Anthony, UCLan’s executive dean of culture and creative industries.

Besides announcements of the student award winners for individual work on the day, the show also featured student portfolios and a wide range of specially nominated creative art, media, design and textiles exhibits, include work by students who have picked up major external awards during the past year.

Among them was Tia, a short animation film created by student Jamie Walsh which won a Royal Television Society North West Award and Chelsea Barker, a final year fashion design student, who has won a national design brief competition for social media channel Tik Tok.

Among the showcase was examples from UCLan’s graphic design and advertising courses, which won gold, silver and bronze prizes at the annual national Creative Conscience Awards.

Jane Anthony, executive dean of the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries said : "The degree shows provide us with an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the creative talent of our students.

"That talent has been nurtured and supported within the University of Central Lancashire by a whole host of dedicated and talented staff, all of whom ensure each of our students reach their potential and leave us as creative practitioners.”

“This is an exceptional year as for the first time we are broadcasting the degree show into people’s homes and inviting them to explore the final collections and portfolios virtually. In doing this, we are able to engage with many more of our stakeholders be they industry specialists, parents, friends, alumni and of course, all of our students."

Danny Livingstone, Project Manager for the Innovation Lab team working on the project said: “Both the Innovation Lab and academic teams have used their creative skills to push the boundaries of technology and create a new format for the awards show within a tight timescale.

“Thanks to their efforts the result now is a truly unique online experience which will showcase the talents of our students off extremely well in these challenging times.”