The Mandela Robben Island Experience

The Mandela Robben Island Experience

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The Mandela Robben Island Experience
Dec 1, 2016
Client: RYOT, The Mandela Family
Dec 16, 2018
Johannesburg, South Africa
Immersive ActivationPhotogrammetryVRUnityDesign
Awards: Bronze Telly

Through help of the Mandela Family, RYOT gained unprecedented access to Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island Cell in Cape Town, South Africa. After 4 hours of LiDAR scans and thousands of high-res photos, RYOT created a full 1:1 photogrammetry duplicate of the place where Nelson Mandela spent decades of his life.

This museum quality 6DoF experience had two main components; a physical space designed as an exact, 1:1 scale replica of the Robben Island cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years he was incarcerated, as well as a best-in-class VR experience with interactive sound design.

Viewers entered the cell, donned a VR headset, and were immersed in a multi-layered, spatial audio soundscape that changed based on where the viewer stood or moved inside the cell.

Festival goer
Festival goer

While a user listened to archival audio from the great freedom fighters like Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela who battled 50 years of Apartheid, the environment provided a tactile, visceral connection to the physical world that defined Mandela’s imprisonment by placing to-scale physical objects in the cell in order to transcend the boundary between real and virtual

Production rendering of Mandela's cell
Production rendering of Mandela's cell
Production rendering of Mandela's cell
Production rendering of Mandela's cell
Photo-real virtual replica in VR on the HTC Vive
Photo-real virtual replica in VR on the HTC Vive
Global Citizen Festival // Johannesburg, SA
Global Citizen Festival // Johannesburg, SA
Officer experiencing VR for the first time
Officer experiencing VR for the first time

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