CategoryE01. Augmented Reality (AR)
Idea Creation 2 SDWM Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement SDWM Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

La Trobe University believes in bold thinking with a conscience, and as sponsors of the National Gallery of Victoria’s David Hockney exhibition, they needed an activation that would unite this philosophy with Hockney’s works. Living Landscapes is an interactive experience that enabled gallery goers to create art with an impact. Combining a topographical model of La Trobe’s wildlife sanctuary with AR technology, visitors used a custom iPad app to create trees in the style of Hockey. Using brushes and colours inspired by the artist himself, they were able to draw virtual trees as unique as themselves. Once completed, each tree was then added to the digital landscape to create an ever-growing virtual forest. Once completed participants received an email with a shareable link to their creation, and the important message that for every tree created in augmented reality, La Trobe would plant one in reality at their campus Wildlife Sanctuary.

Creative Execution

The Living Landscapes initiative unites creativity and technology inspired by the university’s curriculum to create real world change. The experience invites participants to get hands on creating an environmentally themed digital art work, which is then translated into the real world where for every virtual tree drawn, an actual tree is planted at the university’s wildlife sanctuary. The activation took place every Friday from January 13 - March 10th, 2017 at the National Gallery of Victoria. Consisting of a diorama precision laser machined to match the topography of the universities own wildlife sanctuary, and a bespoke iPad app to bring the model to life. A feature rich painting mode leveraged the familiar ‘iPad’ finger painting paradigm, with custom brush strokes and colours inspired by Hockney’s own art, as well as native Australian flora. The interaction was further extended with an augmented reality view kept synchronous across all four tablets. It allowed the users to collaborate on a unified piece of art in a novel, way. The AR component utilized a combination of SLAM and marker based tracking to allow users to place their creations on the ‘diorama’. All data generated by the user - every brush stroke - is kept in sync continuously between the iPads and a custom server hidden inside the diorama via WIFI on a custom protocol. This server uploads the art to the Facebook app, sends the user their art (via EDM) and provides onlookers a live view into the virtual Living Landscape via a large display. The bulk of the software was written in C#, with Facebook facing components written in PHP. The landscape of the model was transformed with every uniquely created tree. Once digitally planted, the baron diorama was overlaid with a virtual forest representative of what would be created in reality.


Name Company Position
Elle Bullen sdwm Creative Director
James Orr sdwm Creative Director
Jake Turnbull sdwm Design Director
Jarrick Lay sdwm Business Director
Phoebe Bullen sdwm Social Strategist
Adrian Bosich AIRBAG Managing Partner
Johanna Rayner AIRBAG Producer
Nick Venn AIRBAG Producer
Steven Nicholson AIRBAG Creative Technologist
Brad Hammond AIRBAG Developer
Stephen Burns AIRBAG Developer
Rob Ride AIRBAG 3D Artist
Nick Pledge Nick Pledge Art Director
Ben Boniface AIRBAG Tech Support
Mark Engel LaTrobe University Chief Marketing Officer
Julian Murphy LaTrobe University Sponsorship Strategy Manager
Annabel O’Neill LaTrobe University Campaign Manager
Annabel O’Neill LaTrobe University Campaign Manager
Felicity Cull LaTrobe University Online Communities Manager
Vern Steele LaTrobe University Operations Manager, La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary
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