SIGN partners with Live Works to develop a virtual writers’ room

SIGN has recently collaborated with students from Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) at the University of Sheffield on a Live Project to develop a virtual writers’ room, exploring opportunities that the Covid-19 pandemic has shone on the screen industries.

The virtual writers’ room prototype considers what it means to be part of a creative team virtually, through an architectural lens, to maximise collaboration and create new opportunities for young people. The project addresses the challenges faced by those hoping to establish a career in the screen industries who might be unable to access work experience or training in the industry.

As we begin to navigate the landscape post-Covid, SSoA students addressed how using hybrid models, combining physical and virtual spaces, could improve efficiency, inclusion and diversity of participants and audiences alike. The resulting prototype marries the community of in person environments with the accessibility of digital spaces.

Dr Jude Brereton, Skills and Training Lead, SIGN:

It’s been a real privilege to work with such a creative, innovative and dedicated team of students to help us reimagine a future where opportunities for working in the screen industries, both behind and in front of the camera, can be opened up to all, regardless of geography or social background. The quick and necessary switch to so much online working over the last year has spurred the screen industries themselves into new ways of producing and delivering content. The team from Sheffield have harnessed new and emerging approaches to creative working practice, and worked hard to develop a vision for future hybrid spaces which allow access both in person and remotely, exploiting virtual and augmented reality technologies.

We look forward to a continued working partnership between SIGN and SSoA to build on the creative inspiration from the team.

Thomas Moore, PhD Research Student, SSoA, University of Sheffield:

The Live Project created a unique opportunity to find synergies between architecture and the screen industries with students critically testing and prototyping new ways of collaborating in a post-pandemic world.

The resilience and adaptability of the students not only in the face of the current issues, but being placed out of their comfort zones and into a world of immersive technologies was beyond impressive. With the group able to develop inclusive hybrid techniques for digital learning alongside a narrative for the future of the Yorkshire Region as the national epicentre for the screen industries.