Arrival of technology institute celebrated

Tue 23 July 2019, 10:53 am

Students at Barking and Dagenham College celebrated the forthcoming arrival of its new Institute of Technology (IoT) by creating a virtual reality (VR) tour of the building.

Architecture, interior and product design students used modern technology to create the VR tour of the IoT, which is due to open in the autumn.

It was announced in April that the college is nationally one of 12 educational establishments to secure government funding to open an IoT.

It will train pupils in areas such as construction and infrastructure, engineering and robotics, data and big data and TV and film production.

Global construction services company ISG is carrying out the internal refurbishment and redesign of existing facilities, and uses VR in architecture and interior design projects. The firm helped students to create the VR tour of the new building to allow viewers to get a preview of the interior.

Lecturer Bella Parenti said: “We do a lot of work with local employers and embed live briefs into the curriculum. On this occasion, as VR in Architecture and Interior design is still in its infancy in the industry, we asked ISG to act as our client for the students’ final major project. ISG use this cutting-edge technology and software in their company.

“We are a forward thinking department and know that it is only a matter of time before other design industries will use this technology; therefore we took the initiative to embed it into this project. We visited ISG’s offices so that the students could see the visual communication teams’ work.

“One very useful thing that the students took from the visit was the useful plugin software they utilise to turn 3D computer modelling into VR.”

The students developed their designs using 3D computer modelling and used materials, light and rendering tools – that help to create realistic photographic images of interiors.

A two-stage competition was launched in 2018 for employers, further education providers and higher education providers to develop proposals and bid for a share of a £170m capital fund to establish new Institutes of Technology.

Barking & Dagenham College was the lead partner on a bid that included anchor partners Coventry University (CU), Huawei, Saint Gobain and TfL.

The new Institute of Technology will offer a chance to secure a pipeline of new talent to meet skills gaps in east London and the surrounding regions.

Yvonne Kelly, the college’s principal and CEO, said: “The Institute of Technology will support the development of learners’ digital capabilities and higher technical skills. Its primary focus is to develop a workforce trained in new advanced, technological and innovative methods to meet industry’s future needs. The opening of this Institute of Technology is fantastic news for the people, businesses and economy of the local region.”

Andy Ginn, associate pro vice chancellor of CU London, added: “We are proud to support this innovative and much needed new development by bringing Coventry University Degree programmes in these high demand STEM skills.

“Barking & Dagenham College deserve every success with this Institute of Technology, and it’s exciting to see such high-quality provision becoming the norm in the borough for the benefit of local residents and employers alike.”

To view the VR video created by the college students visit:



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