News & Events / News item

Artist impression of what is visible on the app

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Manchester Plinth showcases flying saucer from Malcolm Garrett collection

New commission is part of the University's involvement in CityVerve

Artist impression of what is visible on the app
Artist impression of what is visible on the app

Manchester School of Architecture at Manchester Metropolitan University is delighted to unveil an augmented reality version of part of the personal collection of renowned graphic designer Malcolm Garrett.

Visitors to the Manchester Plinth in All Saints Park on the main University campus will be able to watch a flying saucer ’take off and land’ via their phone screens, an object taken from the DM17 exhibition Collecting Malcolm Garrett - Snapshots from the World of Tomorrow.

The Buzzin phone app displays the digital version of the object from the MMU Special Collections Gallery exhibition when users point their cameras towards the Plinth.

It is the Manchester Plinth’s second digital commission since its launch in June, the latest in a project which is the first of its kind in the UK to allow people to engage with museum artefacts using augmented reality. It aims to transform the way we view and engage with collections.

Professor Tom Jefferies, Head of Manchester School of Architecture, said: “The Manchester Plinth is a new cultural initiative establishing a space between the real and virtual, the plinth allows audiences to explore cultural artefacts in entirely new ways.

“We are delighted to announce the second commission for the plinth features a flying saucer from the personal collection of renowned graphic designer Malcolm Garrett and the current exhibition at MMU Special Collections Gallery.

“The animation reflects the playfulness of ‘Collecting Malcolm Garrett’ exhibition and continues to bring collections of significance out of the gallery and into the city. The project and exhibition forms part of DM17.

“Manchester Metropolitan University is proud of our involvement in CityVerve, which is utilising technology and the Internet of Things to improve the lives of the citizens of Manchester.”

Collecting Malcolm Garrett – Snapshots from the World of Tomorrow is an exhibition of books, clothing, toys and ephemera drawn from the personal collections of renowned graphic designer and co-founder of Design Manchester, Malcolm Garrett, which highlights his compulsive interest in new worlds and futuristic design. It runs in MMU Special Collections Gallery until March 2018.

This latest commission is part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s role in CityVerve, the UK’s smart cities demonstrator based along the Oxford Road Corridor, the innovation district for Manchester. Culture and the Public Realm is one of four key themes for the CityVerve project, with the consortium committed to exploring innovative ways to experience art and culture in the city.

The CityVerve project brings together the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, deployed at city scale to deliver transformative benefits, including better healthcare, transport and environment for Manchester, as well as more engaged and empowered citizens.

The Manchester Plinth is a new cultural initiative establishing a space between the real and virtual, the plinth allows audiences to explore cultural artefacts in entirely new ways.

CityVerve was established with a remit to demonstrate the capability of IoT applications and address barriers to deploying smart cities with the aim of creating a real-life blueprint for smart cities worldwide.

The new works will be visible on the plinth from Wednesday 18th October to coincide with Collecting Malcolm Garrett gallery talk as part of DM17.

The Manchester Plinth projects are available to view through the Buzzin app which allows users to experience the city in new ways with augmented reality. Buzzin is available for free on App Store and Google Play


18 October 2017