Zubr is one of the top studios for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) working in the UK today. Bristol is lucky to have the studio call the city home, as Zubr offers its creative flare to festivals, museums, and Instagram accounts across the region. 

Excitingly, the team recently announced that Zubr Curio has been recognised for its impressive work by being shortlisted for the Museums and Heritage Show Award for Best Use of Digital – UK 2023. Curio has made the final five for its AR project ‘Making a Scene.’

As a denomination of Zubr, Curio specifically combines the technical expertise of the parent company with the curious creativity and storytelling prowess of the heritage and culture sector to design immersive and educational experiences.

For Making a Scene, Curio designed and produced an AR theatre careers app for a mixed reality educational loan box for University of Bristol Theatre Collection and Bristol Old Vic. The AR theatre popup book transforms designs and documents from the Bristol Old Vic archive into 3D sets and lets young people explore technical roles and theatre careers. Check out the trailer above to get a flavour.

A new way of theatre making

Curio was tasked to being theatre to life beyond the stage. As an innovative approach to engaging the next generation, the project gives young people insight into the breadth of theatre careers – from lighting technicians to costume makers. 

Archived sets are a rarity. Due to the large space they occupy, combined with the fragility of the pieces, the artwork is often discarded by theatres or repurposed by designers for other projects. The University of Bristol Theatre Collection preserves these sets, and is now one of the world’s largest archives of British theatre history and Live Art, holding over 1000 boxes of designs, documents, photographs and financial records for the Bristol Old Vic Company.

Making a Scene was produced to create an AR theatre app to enable young people to get hands-on with fragile collections objects that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. 

Commenting on being shortlisted, Amy Stewart, Heritage Project Manage, tells us, “We’re absolutely over the moon, as it’s one of our favourite recent projects, and a collaboration with some of our favourite clients. 

“Our AR loan box not only created 3D scans of fragile objects from the Bristol Old Vic archive, but gave young people access to a range of often-overlooked theatre careers.”

The entry requirements for the award outlined that the project must demonstrate how you have successfully altered your digitised offering to reach new audiences, in new and creative ways, as well as using these tools to enhance other activities such as commercial or learning. Making a Scene does just that – we wish the Zubr team luck in securing the award on 10 May!