Howard Griffin takes part in Creative Folkestone and South East Creatives’ Tech Week

MA Architectural Visualisation programme director, Howard Griffin, alongside Paul Simms and Fabrice Bourrelly, will be presenting at Tech Week, organised by South East Creatives and Creative Folkestone with their talk titled, ‘Designing architecture in a virtual space’ on Tuesday 16 June at 10.00am BST.

This talk will look at how gaming technology changes the way we think about design. In this discussion, Paul, Fabrice and Howard will explore the ways (Architectural) design is going through significant changes as 3D, VR and gaming technologies are maturing and becoming increasingly adopted across industries such as automotive, aviation and fashion whilst becoming affordable.

All talks will be live-streamed via the Creative Folkestone Facebook page; they are also inviting up to 10 people to join in the room via Zoom to take part in the live Q&A element. Places are limited so book your place.

Howard Griffin organises online conference as part of Architecture Media Politics Society

Howard Griffin, a member of the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte) and the Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC) has organised a conference called Connections: Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities, Art, Media and is part of the Architecture Media Politics Society (AMPS) research organisation’s series of major international conferences. AMPS sees the definition, debates and concerns of the built environment as intrinsic to those at the heart of other social, cultural and political discourses. Its focus is cross disciplinary and draws on the media, politics and the social sciences. It invites participation from all sectors: architects, planners, policy makers, artists, academics, the public and community activists. It functions as an open access platform for publication, a forum for debate through conferences and workshop, a conduit for book publications.

The conference, which will be hosted online on the 29 – 30 June 2020, notes that, particularly in recent months, the ‘digital’ is ubiquitous across all disciplines connected with life in cities: urban history, architecture, planning, art, design, media, communications, and more. As the tools we use today merge and blur across disciplines, this conferences asks educators and professionals to consider the following. How can we best manage, direct and utilise the unique potentialities of this interdisciplinary and technological moment? Are we rethinking objects of art and design from the past and future? Are we reconsidering modes of communication, styles of teaching and ways of living? Are we seeing new links between designed objects, visualised spaces and cultural meanings? Are we understanding creative, documentary and media practices in new ways? Are we developing our own knowledge through the technologies, tools or thinking of other disciplines?

A number of staff and students at the University of Kent will be presenting papers. Howard Griffin will be presenting about his virtual reality project, created with MA Architectural Visualisation students in his paper, The Future of the Past: Reconstructing St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury.  Head of School, Professor Gerald Adler will present his paper titled, ‘Script, Nondescript’, Professor Gordana Fontana Giusti will present her paper titled, ‘Designing Public Spaces to Empower Citizens: Reversing the Subject / Object Relation in Smart Cities’, and PhD student, Rafaella Siagkri will be presenting her paper titled, ‘Understanding and Preserving Cultural Heritage in Expressionist Architecture Using Virtual Reality.’

MA Architectural Visualisation students take part in Cheriton Light Festival

MA Architectural Visualisation students have taken part in the Cheriton Light Festival 2020 over the weekend, exhibiting their architectural projection mapping work.  The festival which takes place every two years attracts over 10,000 visitors and hosts a number of international artists.  Festival organiser, Brigitte Orasinski, noted that the contribution of the MA Architectural Visualisation students, “…was so spectacular. [It] was wonderful to see this building brought to life by the work.”

Programme Director, Howard Griffin, explained the value of this public exhibition to the students’ studies, “Our students are continually replicating and recreating the built environment around us in digital form.  With this work, we reverse the process, bringing the digital world into the real.  Much of the work we do in architectural visualisation is about simulation and the ‘virtual’.  By working on live events, such as Cheriton Light Festival, students gain real experience of staging events, that is nearly impossible to simulate.”

Kent School of Architecture and Planning launch new Digital Architecture Research Centre

Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) are pleased to announce the launch of DARC (Digital Architecture Research Centre).

DARC is the newest research centre at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) specialising in the application of digital technology in architecture. DARC will focus on the creative use of digital technologies to enhance design and fabrication possibilities for architecture and the built environment. The Centre has streams headed by its members:

  • Generative design and computational creativity
  • Digital fabrication and robotics
  • Digital visualisation and mixed reality.

The Centre is a new interdisciplinary direction for KSAP, founded on members’ expertise and international research profiles, it aims to promote an innovative interdisciplinary research environment exploring intersections between architecture and digital technologies.

If you’d like to find out more about DARC, and about the latest addition to KSAP’s postgraduate offering, MSc Bio Digital Architecture, email ksaadmissions@kent.ac.uk to join the free Google Hangout with Dr Tim Ireland, Director of Digital Architecture, on Wednesday 5 June at 14.00 BST.

Howard Griffin speaks at Lyon Light Festival Forum

Howard Griffin, Director of the MA Architectural Visualisation programme, was invited to speak about his research into projection mapping at the Lyon Light Festival Forum in December.  The forum, which takes place as part of the annual Fête des Lumières, widely regarded as the inaugural and most famous light festival in the world, was attended by academics, lighting designers, projection artists and festival organisers.  Building on a recent article co-written with Dr Jane Lovell of Canterbury Christ Church University, Howard argued about the importance of understanding the nature of different projected installations and the effect this can have on their evaluation.  The article can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1080/19407963.2018.1556674

The presentation coincided with the University of Kent becoming an associate member of LUCI (Lighting Urban Communities International), a network of cities and companies focused on urban lighting and festivals.  Howard is working with stakeholder and partners to develop plans for a Light Festival in Canterbury in the near future.

PhD Seminar Series: Howard Griffin

The next PhD Seminar will be given by Howard Griffin, MA Architectural Visualisation programme director, on Wednesday 14th March at 4pm in the Digital Crit Space.

Moving the immovable: projection-mapping and the changing face of architecture

The ‘lumière’ festival has, in recent years, become an established form of public festival, with many cities and heritage sites seizing the opportunity to attract large audiences and increase tourism revenues.  Lumière festivals now benefit from the advance in digital technology, which allows light to be mapped to specific surfaces and spaces through projection.  This form of light installation, known as projection-mapping, delivers an added sense of spectacle, with onlookers taking the chance to witness momentary changes to the urban canvas, engaging with buildings in new ways.

At night, artificial light shapes the space around us, highlighting routes, exposing features, forming shadows, and provides architecture an altered, arguably dynamic, identity. Whether by candle, fire, gas or electricity, light has the capacity to change the way we see the space about us.  Projection mapping amplifies this, allowing artists to explore notions of altered façade, and changes to character, style and materiality.

The visual sense dominates particularly when judging scale, distance, texture and so on.  Experience informs us that most buildings are inanimate; solid objects designed for strength and security.  Yet, albeit briefly, our eyes disagree.  Projection-mapping can create illusions that change the very nature of architecture, causing the viewer to subconsciously question and review the alterations that seem to occur.  Windows can spin.  Walls can wobble.  Buildings can move.  Torre (2015) argues that buildings ‘concretize’ animation, giving depth to two-dimensional image.  However, it could be argued that projection-mapping liberates the built environment, animating the inanimate, moving the immovable.

This presentation will explore the methods used in projection mapping to deceive and skew perception of architectural form and space, and argues that this form of light show installation not only conjures and deceives, but develops new relationships between people and the cities and buildings around us.

Lifting the veil for Dreamland

On Sunday 22nd March, Howard Griffin, MA Architecture and Visualisation Programme Director successfully projected onto the side of the old Dreamland cinema building in Margate. The Painted Veil, starring Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall and George Brent was the first feature film to be shown at the original cinema, which was built after the success of the Dreamland Amusement Park and was opened to the public on the 22nd March 1935.

Howard said “The aim of the installation was to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Dreamland Cinema building by projecting the first feature film to be shown in 1935.  The projection of The Painted Veil onto the facade of the cinema, rather than a simple canvas or screen, allowed the building itself to become an ‘actor’ in the display.  Seeing the brickwork ‘breathe’, coming alive with light of Greta Garbo was a gratifying experience and one which I hope was a fitting tribute to both film and building.”

Howard is also currently working with The Dreamland Trust to produce a series of time-lapse videos which show the restoration work being undertaken at the park, including the restoration of the Scenic Railway.

To view Howard’s other work and find out more, please visit www.photogriffin.com.

MAAV students win an award

MAAV_award

Two students on the MA Architectural Visualisation programme have won an award for their Outstanding Visualisation Portfolios. Max Lenton from Miller Hare presented the award to Ruben Chitu and Joseph Sheng after their graduation at Canterbury Cathedral last week. Both Ruben and Joseph have landed positions with Miller Hare since completing their MA.

Programme Director Howard Griffin said, ‘I’m thoroughly pleased for both Reuben and Joseph and wish them all the best for the future. This prize offered by Miller Hare further cements our relationship with industry and builds on our successful internship opportunities’.

Howard Griffin – Moving the immovable

Howard Griffin will be giving a talk entitled Moving the immovable on Wednesday 9th July at 7.30pm in The Gulbenkian as part of Digibury.

The development of digital projection technology has enabled urban-scale projection to become bigger, brighter and arguably more immersive.

This increase in technological capability has encouraged a new generation of artists to use imagery to alter architectural and urban environments, provoking interaction, response and a skewing of the perception of ordinarily familiar form and space. With the ability of this medium to change the very nature and aesthetic of the urban environment, Howard is currently researching the perceptive effect that this can have.

Drawing from experience of a number of projects, Howard will discuss the field of Architectural Projection Mapping and its distinction from urban cinematic projections.

Virtual Heritage in Penang

Howard Griffin, Programme Director of the MA Architectural Visualisation, travelled to Penang, Malaysia to present his work on Virtual Heritage to members of the Georgetown Heritage Inc. and staff and students of the Universiti Sains Malaysia. The presentation looked at different aspects of digital integration in heritage work, including 3D site scanning, 3D animation and the use of CGI in the film industry.  The presentation also highlighted the work of the MA Architectural Visualisation students and English Heritage to ‘re-create’ St. Augustine’s Abbey and monastery in Canterbury using games engine technology.

The use of games technology to recreate historic buildings is seen as a key component in the dissemination of heritage knowledge.  Howard Griffin explained that the opportunity, “…for people to not merely view the past, but participate in it, is an important development.  We have seen this with games, such as Assassin’s Creed, in which the player is able to navigate the streets of ancient cities.”  Howard also went on to present the work to the students and staff at the Fakulti Senibina Perancangan & Ukur (Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Kuala Lumpur.

The initial phase of the St. Augustine’s Abbey project is due to be completed in May, when a second phase of evaluation and feedback on the immersive effects of the game will begin.  It is hoped that further collaborations on Virtual Heritage will be possible in the future.