Published: 26 May 2020

New PhD projects at Digital World Research Centre

The Digital World Research Centre at the University of Surrey, welcomes three new PhD students and projects. With a focus on new media innovation for social and cultural benefit, the projects will offer advanced research on assistive media for sight correction and augmented reading experiences.

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Woman using Virtual Reality headset

PhD project, ‘altered perceptions’ uses immersive sound to depict experiences of blindness. Dora Filipovic will study experiences of those with sight loss and how others can understand the lifeworld and internal sensory experiences of partially sighted and blind people.  She will use virtual reality technology to create immersive films which encourage empathy in audiences. With more than two million people living with sight loss in the UK, this research will collect valuable new knowledge on their experiences, refining cinematic and sound design techniques to share positive stories about living with blindness.This project is in partnership with the Digital Media Arts programme in the Department of Music & Media.

An innovative project also in the field of vision by PhD student Ye Ling, will utilise recent advances in computer vision, augmented reality and artificial intelligence to develop ‘digital glasses’ to improve certain visual impairments.  This new type of technology will enable digital correction of conditions such as distorted vision (metamorphopsia) often associated with age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. This project is in partnership with the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP).

Lastly the centre welcomes Juyuan Wang with her PhD project focusing on ‘the design of augmented reading and writing experiences’. The research draws on technology developed on the ‘Next Generation Paper’ project which offers a hybrid form of ‘print and digital’ paper. Juyuan will further explore new reading and writing experiences of augmented paper from an artistic perspective, to  develop a new set of graphic and interaction design principles for augmented paper. This project is in partnership with the Department of Sociology.

Commenting on these new projects, David Frohlich, Director of the Digital World Research Centre said, “I am excited to be working with this new cohort of talented international PhD students from both computing and design backgrounds. Together they help to develop our research theme of assistive media in the domains of visual perception and reading, through a combination of new tech and new media development. Two of the projects by Dora and Juyuan are ‘practice-based’, meaning that they will be creating a body of digital media artworks to address their new media research questions. We hope to exhibit this work alongside technical demonstrations and publications in the future”.

To read more on the PhD projects or to request further information please visit


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