VR experience to showcase Geelong’s industrial heritage

The social value of local manufacturing will be explored through a 3D version of a 2009 Ford Falcon XR6.

Developed by Deakin University’s CADET VR Lab, part of the School of Engineering, the project will allow participants to engage with the industrial design heritage in Geelong.

The VR experience will be held as part of Geelong Design Week in 2020.

According to Kaja Antlej, the modelling of the iconic vehicle will enable participants to understand how Geelong has grown as a manufacturing city.

“Since its earliest days as Australia’s wool capital, Geelong has been a significant industrial city and car manufacturing one of our most visible industries,” said Antlej.

The project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration which hopes to inspire reflection on how Geelong will transform as its manufacturing industries undergo change.

“By drawing on transdisciplinary skills from the School of Engineering, School of Communication and Creative Arts and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences we will examine our history as a city of invention and explore the idea of a post-industrial future,” said Antlej.

The original Ford ute, the 1934 model, came from a request from a farmer’s wife for a vehicle that could transport livestock, as well as carry the family to formal engagements. The company’s vehicle manufacturing was intimately connected to the local wool industry, being first housed in a disused wool storage warehouse.

The team will also create a VR model of the 1934 model ute for the Geelong Design Week showcase.

Today, the former Ford factor is now being used to assemble wind turbines, as renewable energy manufacturer Vestas takes over the old site.

The week, which runs from March 19 to 29, will continue the conversation of how manufacturing and industrial design continues to shape the identity of a regional city such as Geelong.