Our New Immersive Studio

After designing the technologies and original concepts for the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, we decided to make a big change and close our gallery and cafe to focus on production and education around our immersive work.

Over the last couple of years we’ve had some amazing R&D opportunities, not only for the Commonwealth Games but also Festival 2022 (aka Unboxed) and more recently Innovate UK. These projects have inspired new thinking and ambition across our organisation. 

We’ve also been looking at the ways audiences have been engaging with our work since the pandemic, where we’ve had most engagement and impact. During Games week BOM has been filled with audiences wanting to get up close and see the Baton we created with Raymont Osman product designers, engagement partner MAOKWO and fabricators Kajul. We’ve been reminded of what we can achieve when we put our efforts into developing immersive and interactive experiences that reach more people.

As a small team with big ideas, we need to make some changes to be able to scale up our work and achieve our ambitions. 

“Our aim is to be creators of world leading immersive experiences where art, technology and science collide to empower and inspire people”

We’ve shifted into a new studio model creating large-scale immersive work that will tour and reach more people. This is the work we’ve been dreaming about and R&D’ing over the last couple of years. 

This means we can devote more of our space to engagement, hosting whole class groups for schools across the Inclusive Growth Corridors (areas of high deprivation and low cultural engagement) as well as the SEND specialist schools we work with, where there’s high demand. 

We’re also able to give more space to creative practitioners beta testing experimental work through our Residents programme, and run larger creative digital skills events to increase the number of under-served people progressing through the creative industries.

We’ll continue to deliver a programme of events with artists and communities in our space, which we’ll share on our website and socials. In the meantime, we’re excited to share a couple of the immersive adventures we’re undertaking as we embark on this new phase. 

Hidden Kingdoms

In 2021 we secured funding from Innovate UK to develop Hidden Kingdoms, an immersive audio app supporting people with anxiety to make real world journeys from A to B. This is the first immersive product BOM is creating in-house, in collaboration with artist Resident Edie Jo Murray and Musician Joe Wright, and meditation expert Pasannamati Neal who are creating beautiful visual, sonic and meditation content for the app. The project is currently in development, due to launch in 2023 alongside an outreach programme.


Mother Nature

In 2020 we secured R&D funding to develop an ambitious proposal for a mixed reality experience for Festival UK 2022, later re-branded Unboxed. 

Our project brought together a collaboration across art, technology, engineering and environmental science with artists Gloria Adereti, Michael Candy and Harmeet Chagger Khan, and partners Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, Aston and Bangor Universities, BetaJester Studio, Canal & River Trust, CodeYourFuture and The Space. 

Over the next couple of years we’re taking forwards two key elements of the Mother Nature XR proposal: A mobile game drawing on live environmental data to stimulate climate action amongst under-served young people; and digitally enabled water robots towards a live public performance (you can see a video above of the prototype created in 2021).  

We’ll be sharing more details as we go as our commissions and events evolve. Keep an eye on our website and socials for updates.