Put The World on The Floor and Walk Around It: Augmented Reality for Writers Workshop

In November 2022, the Augmented Reality (AR) for Writers workshop provided an opportunity for writers to experiment with innovative storytelling tools in an effort to demystify the use of technology in creative writing practice. Held over one day at The Studio in Bath, as part of Bath Spa University’s participation in MyWorld’s Experimental Productions, the workshop brought together writers keen to learn more about how they might bring their stories to life in innovative ways through the use of technology.

It was a collaboration between academics Dr Amy Spencer (Bath Spa University), Dr Agnieszka Przybyszewska  (University of Łódź, Poland) Mitchell Wilson and Lilly Parr, co-founders of virtual and augmented reality consultancy Layerable, to share insights gained from industry with the public. Agnieszka provided context to the writers by offering examples of writers and publishers who have used AR to produce reading experiences for readers. Her knowledge of this emerging field of practice gave our writers inspiration about what can be created using AR.

The writers ranged from a variety of backgrounds and had different levels of experience, because of this Mitchell and Lilly designed the workshop to be as accessible as possible. By introducing key concepts, sharing examples of their own work, providing tools and teaching writers how to use them, writers were encouraged to create immersive experiences on their smartphones, using various low-cost, accessible tools.

Mitchell asked everyone to “Put the world on the floor and walk around it” as a visual metaphor for turning a story into a three-dimensional object that could be played with by a reader. The writers explored and played with technology and, soon, images and sounds from their stories began to appear in the Studio’s windows and on the floor beneath their feet. Each writer created their own experimental stories and shared with one another their emerging ideas about how they might be experienced by readers.

The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for knowledge exchange and a creative way to make research accessible.


Image credit: Elisha Westmore