Posted by: bluesyemre | September 13, 2022

Virtual reality installation reimagines future libraries

A visitor experiences the VR installation titled The Infinite Library ongoing at the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh on DrikPath Bhobon premises in the capital. — Press release

An immersive VR installation titled The Infinite Library, which reimagines future libraries as interactive spaces that engage visitors through multisensory forms of storytelling, began at the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh on DrikPath Bhobon premises at Panthapath in the capital on Saturday.

Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in partnership with The Tech Academy, has jointly organised the VR installation in Dhaka.

The Infinite Library is a travelling installation produced by the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi in India.

A brainchild of Prague-based multimedia artist Mika Johnson, The Infinite Library welcomes the audience to a screen where they can get an idea of the project.

The project includes a QR code game, holograms, 3D-printed objects and audio-visual works. The project’s central piece is a vast VR library set in a cave.

Different replica artefacts have been kept inside glass jars with QR code labels. The visitors can scan the codes and get an idea about the objects on their phone screens.

The main attraction of the event is a sandbox where visitors can experience an immersive virtual reality experience and learn about different mysteries surrounding the origin of the universe and how humans evolved as a species.

In the VR project, set inside a virtual cave-like environment, the audience can learn about different cultural backgrounds and more across time through an immersive and multisensory experience. The project expands the concept of the library into a platform where knowledge transfer happens through VR rooms.

Kirsten Hackenbroch, director of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in her welcome speech, said, ‘The Infinite Library uses an immersive VR to explore the past, present and future of knowledge, broadening our ideas of “libraries”. The Tech Academy with their approach of gamified education and a team of tech-savvy and creative volunteers are a wonderful partner to bring this globally travelling project to Bangladesh.’

Dina Hossain, a filmmaker and freelance media and communications professional, inaugurated the event.

She said, ‘The virtual library exhibition shows us the possibilities of new ways of exploring knowledge, learning through experience and game playing. The Tech Academy has done a great job by involving young tech enthusiasts. When children learn by problem-solving and without fear of failing then innovations can happen.’

Mika Johnson, creative director of the project, said, ‘The Infinite Library is an example of how we can use new technologies, such as virtual reality, to share stories in ways that transport us to different places or times, through simulations that allow us to touch and interact with various knowledge systems.’

He also added, ‘I have chosen the cave environment because we have evolved as a species and left our thoughts on cave walls as paintings. Libraries have become diverse and there are libraries that store specific objects like tools or art. I wanted to play with the idea of a library and wanted to create one that stores knowledge rather than books. This will help us to grasp how libraries may feel in the future.’

Founder and CEO of Bangladeshi start-up Tech Academy Shams Jaber said, ‘Virtual reality is one of the technologies with the highest projected potential for growth and this event aims at showing our youth what libraries in the future may look like with the advent of VR. I also hope that our youth to be producers of technologies rather than only using technology.’

The installation will remain open for visitors till September 14.

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