Our experience explores the potential of immersive technologies to enable users to engage with complex data streams in order to promote creative, flexible thinking about the world, society, and one’s place within it.

Born in Bradford is a world-leading longitudinal birth cohort study that tracks the lives of 13,818 individuals from birth to adulthood, and represents a powerful way of understanding the many influences that shape our lives. A challenge with this sort of complex data is to find effective ways of engaging participants, stakeholders and policy makers, to empower them to make societal changes that promote health and well-being.

The Born in Bradford Immersive Experience is an example of a VR art science collaboration that combines machine learning techniques with aesthetic devices, allowing users to explore big data. Built using the new fast point-cloud 𝑥R technology from Reflex Arc, the aim is to develop a narrative framework that provides interpretable insights (e.g., the relationship between socio-economic status and air quality), and promote public engagement in health and social science research.

Project Credits: 1. Dave Lynch | Creative Director, 2 Christophe de Bezenac | Creative Director, 3 Richard England | Creative Technologist / Programmer, 4 Ning Lu | Data Scientist, 5 Lee Smith | Composer