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Glasgow School of Art project awarded £75,000 grant

The grant will fund the development of an immersive exhibit about the restoration of the fire damaged building.

A project to create an immersive exhibit about the restoration of the fire-damaged Glasgow School of Art has been awarded a major grant.

The exhibit will focus on the conservation the art school’s collection of plaster casts, a number of which were badly affected by the fire which tore through the Mackintosh building in May 2014.

Glasgow School of Art (GSA), working in partnership with Scottish digital media and software studio ISO, has been awarded almost £75,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the project.

The team will develop a prototype for an immersive exhibit using 3D digital scans of the Mackintosh Building and the GSA’s collection of plaster casts which were there at the time of the fire.

The immersive exhibit will feature Glasgow School of Art's collection of plaster casts (GSA/PA)

The prototype will take around six months to develop, and once completed the technology could then be applied to other aspects of the Mackintosh Building restoration and used to create similar experiences for other visitor attractions.

GSA director Professor Tom Inns said: “Glasgow’s creative economy is developing through collaborations including those between HE institutions and companies at the cutting edge of digital design.

“We are delighted to be working with our strategic industry partner, ISO, on this research project to explore innovative approaches to maximising the potential of new immersive and interactive technologies.”

The Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art was badly damaged in the 2014 fire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Students were preparing for their degree shows in May 2014 when flames engulfed the Grade A-listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh building.

The blaze caused significant damage to the west wing including the loss of the celebrated Mackintosh Library.

Visitors will be able to see the exhibit when the building reopens, though it is not known when that will be.

The project will be led by researchers in the School of Simulation and Visualisation (SimVis) at the GSA working in partnership with ISO’s research and development department.

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