City of Birmingham Library, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Designing Worlds looks back to … the City of Birmingham Library

In this episode from our archives first shown in 2013, we look at a fascinating project that shows a convincing business use for virtual worlds with a visit to the library created in Second Life, to model the real life library being built for the City of Birmingham in the UK.

You can watch it on this blog, and you can also see the show on the Designing Worlds Vimeo Archive channel at: https://vimeo.com/381836842. And you can join the special Watch Party (at 2pm SLT, Monday 16th November) in our studio on Garden of Dreams.

#DW213 The Library of Birmingham – Oct 14th 2013 from Saffia Widdershins on Vimeo.

Back in 2009, the City of Birmingham in England wanted to create an immersive online version of their planned city centre library. They turned to the company Daden Limited to realise their concept. This became a valuable tool in the creation of what is now a magnificent building in the heart of the city.

 City of Birmingham Library - planning: photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

City of Birmingham Library – planning: photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Together with David Burden of Daden, we explored the library, the interactive tools that were created for discovering people’s responses, the training processes that were created – and learning how the librarians and other people responded to this.

City of Birmingham Library, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont
City of Birmingham Library, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And we also talked to David about why he feels that Second Life is no longer the best environment for creating such projects. He made some serious and very valid points – you won’t want to miss this!

This really was one of our most thought-provoking shows ever– so do join us for a slice of history at 2pm SLT for the Watch Party in Garden of Dreams!

Image of the real life Library by By Alex Liivet from Chester, United Kingdom - Library of Birmingham, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63979753
Image of the real life Library by By Alex Liivet from Chester, United Kingdom – Library of Birmingham, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63979753

P.S. Fans of 1920s Birmingham – especially as featured in the popular UK TV series Peaky Blinders – might want to visit  the VOIR Gallery, created by Simone (SimoneFiore) and Frenchy75. There’s a new exhibition on currently, and you can read an excellent review of the gallery and the exhibition by Inara Pey on her blog, Living in a Modem World.

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