Immersive Arts Research

The IASpace team conducts practice-based research on the field of interaction between art, design and digital technology. The team members have their professional roots in film, game design, interaction design, music, computer science and engineering, and often members have a background in more than one discipline. The IASpace is part of the research cluster of the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH).

Five research groups focus on the following topics:

Spatial Augmented Reality

Photo by Davide Arrizoli, ZHdK ©2019

The practice-based exploration of Spatial Augmented Reality – or tracking based projection mapping – is a major research focus at the Immersive Arts Space. Currently, the optimization of latency and the development of high-precision projection mapping on fast moving objects or humans has a high priority.

Group members: Martin Fröhlich (lead) Stella Speziali, Eric Larrieux. Projects: Presence & Absence, Helium Drones. Associated events: Floating in Dancing Lights, Dancing Digital, Twin Lab. Associated educational courses: Illuminated Flying Objects, Immersive Landscapes. Videos: Projection Mapping, Presence & Absence, Helium Drones, Floating in Dancing Lights, A Day at the Beach.

Co-experiencing Virtual Reality

Photo by Chris Elvsi Leisi, ZHdK ©2020

The aim of the project is to develop a versatile co-location multi-user system, with which several users can dive into virtual worlds together in the same room. The system can be used for many different scenarios: as a multiplayer game in which the users feel even closer to their fellow players through increased physical presence, as a virtual film set to try out camera movements or interactions of actors without much effort, or as an interactive experience that transports the user into a new dimension of immersion.

Group members: Chris Elvis Leisi, Oliver Sahli. Projects: Home in the Distance VR, Batvision, OEXR (in cooperation with ZHAW). Associated event: Virtual Echololocation (@ Refresh #3). Associated educational courses: Mulitiuser VR courses, BA Game Design. Videos: Multi-user VR, Virtual Echolocation

Virtual Production

Photo by Andreas Birkle, ZHdK ©2020

The current focus of the Virtual Production group is on a fundamentally new version of the pre-visualization tool cineDesk, a further development of the Previs Table, which goes back to our partnership with Stockholm University of the Arts. The new development includes advanced features and multiple applications (e.g. for gaming, stage design, architecture etc.)

Group members: Valentin Huber, Norbert Kottmann. Project: cineDesk. Associated educational courses: Previsualization courses, MA Film. Videos: Virtual Production, cineDesk

Capture and Animation

Screenshot by Tobias Baumann, ZHdK ©2020

The acquisition of photorealistic 3D models of rooms, objects and human beings is a main focus of this group. Laser scanning, photogrammetry as well as neural volumetric capture processes are used to reach these goals. A central aspect is the optimization of real-time animation by means of motion and performance capture. The implementation of digital avatars has become an important aspect of VR and AR projects in research and teaching.

Group members: Florian Bruggisser (lead), Patxi Exequiel Aguirre and Stella Speziali.
Current projects: Digital Twins, Neural Volumetric Capture


Spatial Audio

Photo by Stefan Dux, ZHdK ©2020

The integration of 3D-Audio in all central activities is an essential feature of the Immersive Arts Space. Spatial audio concepts are currently applied in a highly differentiated way through artistic research components of The Umbrella Project.

Group lead: Eric Larrieux, Associated projects: The Umbrella Project. Associated events: A Day at the Beach. Associated educational courses: Illuminated Flying Objects, Immersive Landscapes. Video: A Day at the Beach.