« Back to Stories Archive

Virtual Taliesin – A Beautiful Reality

Guests of the Living Environments Lab spent an Evening in the CAVE exploring Virtual Taliesin.

Taliesin in the CAVE

Atop a hill in the sprawling countryside outside of Spring Green, WI, sits a rare architectural and artistic jewel. Taliesin was once the home of renowned Wisconsin-based architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and embodies his vision – from the rolling hills and bluffs of the Driftless Area to the “low, wide, and snug” interior, filled with distinctive furniture and art.

The iconic place has been visited by thousands, but its latest guests had an entirely unique experience. On August 26, a group of about 40 people gathered on the lower level of the Discovery Building for the first tours of Virtual Taliesin inside the CAVE, a fully immersive 3D environment at WID’s Living Environments Laboratory.

Conversation at the Evening in the CAVE

The lab uses 3D scanning and visualization technology to study home health environments through the vizHOME project but has also become a leader in the field of virtual reality in other areas, from crime scene analysis to data visualization and more. Earlier this summer, Taliesin became the newest addition to the lab’s catalog of scans. In partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation, Inc., 80 LiDAR scans and numerous quad copter videos of the estate were transformed into a 3D Point Cloud for visualization in the CAVE.

IMG_3788

Dr. Ponto discusses the technology behind Virtual Taliesin

The crowd at the showcase event was diverse, including virtual reality experts, historic preservation specialists, artists, and interested members of the public. “Some attendees came because they were interested in architecture, while others came to find out more about science or because they were interested in the technology,” says Professor Kevin Ponto, whose research advances the field of virtual reality across a broad range of applications. The night began with opening remarks from Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, the leader of the Living Environments Lab. Guests also heard from Dr. Ponto about the technology behind the display and from Ryan Hewson, the preservation project manager at Taliesin.

“Creating an engaging and educational experience for such diverse group is very rewarding for all involved”

-Kevin Ponto

Conversations throughout the evening focused on the use of technology for preservation of historical spaces, home health technologies, Wright architecture, and other applications of virtual reality. The 15-minute guided tours in the CAVE were memorable and enlightening, providing a new perspective even for those who had visited the real Taliesin many times. The marriage of technology, history, and art and architecture made for a singular experience.

“This was a unique event for us — creating an engaging and educational experience for such diverse group is very rewarding for all involved,” says Ponto. This fall, the Living Environments Lab will be taking Virtual Taliesin on the road, showcasing the scenario in several statewide outreach events and bringing an important piece of Wisconsin’s culture and history with them.

Virtual Taliesin exterior

 

Nolan Lendved

 


Press Contact:

WID Media
608-316-4325

More articles in Archive:

badgerloop vr

Virtual Reality Goes Hyper-speed with Badgerloop

Two students from WID’s Living Environments Laboratory are a part of the Badgerloop team that recently won an innovation award at the SpaceX Hyperloop competition, thanks in part to their work on Badgerloop VR.

Caption This Cartoon

High-tech humor

UW program powers New Yorker contest featuring Rob Nowak and NEXT software

Jo Handelsman at WID

Handelsman Brings Expansive Vision to WID’s Future

Jo Handelsman began her tenure as Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on February 1. Shortly before her start date, we sat down with her to talk about the future of WID and the course she intends to set.