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Virtual Reality Could Help Future Generations See the Heidelberg Project

When we know a landmark will be gone, or change, over the next few years, what should we do to make sure the future generations know it and understand it? One innovative solution in the Heidelberg Project is using drone technology so people all over the world can experience it for years to come.

Isobar is using virtual reality and 3D capture to create tours of the Heidelberg Project. They’re currently running experiments right now to figure out how to best capture this landmark that has lasted for 30 years but will be dismantled and changing over the next couple years. Curbed chatted with Dave Meeker, VP of Isobar, about preserving Heidelberg.

Isobar has been working with GM for years, and Meeker, a big fan of techno, has been travelling to Detroit for decades. When we asked why they chose to work with the Heidelberg Project, Meeker said,

"At the highest level, I believe Detroit is really the embodiment of and a living example of resilience. Why the Heidelberg Project? Because it takes the resilience of Detroit but delivers it in an concentrated dose. What they’ve been able to do over 30 years is not just about creating art, but providing inspiration. Tyree has shown the world that one man can inspire and motivate and bring a message to people through creativity. The Heidelberg Project does this on a local level, but in reality – it’s much bigger than its geographic area. The message is global and has been inspirational to people across the world."
Isobar works to blend creativity and technology, and determined this would be a good challenge for the company. Instead of working in a lab to come up with new, innovative ways to figure things out, they instead go into the world, into the Heidelberg Project, to find innovative uses for their products. And as Heidelberg changes, Meeker says, "We want to help because we understand how important what Tyree and the team there has done over the last 30 years. We want to help them create a foundation for 30 more."

Meeker says that Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project, and Jenenne Whitfield, Executive Director, were open to the idea of trying to capture their work using 3D capture and virtual reality. Meeker says that, "I, personally, believe that VR can be an incredible tool for education and our ability to preserve our physical places and things in a digital format. We do a lot of VR work for our clients and through all of those project experiences, one thing stands out above everything else that we’ve learned: VR is an incredible tool for providing context, thereby serving as a tool to create real empathy. "

Meeker believes VR can be used to capture many architectural heritage sites and the possibilities are endless. As for the Heidelberg Project, they’re not sure what the end result will be, but they hope that they can at least continue its legacy for another 30 years.

This article was originally published in Curbed Detroit.

10/11/2016

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