Felix Hardmood Beck

|   Creative Convergences of Art, Design and Technology.



Wadi Al-Helo

A VR-based installation in support of Shariah's application to get listed as UNESCO world heritage.

The Wadi Al Helo project is a collaborative research project between Zlatan Filipovic (American University of Sharjah, College of Architecture,
Art and Design), Pablo Dornhege (University of the Arts Berlin), and Felix Beck (NYU Abu Dhabi) with the goal to develop several installations that feature the stories of the valley using different media, and to support Sharjah's SGTS project. The research project uses photogrammetry, hypermedia and user experience design to create virtual spaces and support narrative structures associated with Wadi al Helo.

Wadi al Helo, arabic for sweet valley, is located in the eastern area of the Emirate of Sharjah. The valley with its historic village and several watchtowers plays an important role in the history of the Emirate, and as cultural heritage site for the whole United Arab Emirates. As part of 'Sharjah's Gateway to Trucial States' project (SGTS) the site is part of Sharjah’s bid to be included with seven more emirate cultural heritage sites on the prestigious list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Wadi Al Helo valley (south).

Wadi Al Helo valley (north).

Watch tower above water fountain.

Abandoned village.

Storytelling with Virtual Reality: The research team developed a virtual reality (VR) application which was presented on September 25, 2018, at the American University of Sharjah (Media studio: AD1-104, Small gallery: AD1-101) to the United Nations representatives. The showcased framework supports immersive storytelling about Wadi al Helo, featuring several historic watch towers, the archaeological remains of a village, and the wadi itself proteced by sourrounding mountains.

"A significant example of a naturally protected agricultural valley within mountains. It is reached through a riverbed or valley, along the caravan route, with watchtowers located at the entrance of the valley to protect from raiders. It was a safe territory, allowing people to work in agriculture and export their products to coastal areas." (SGTS). 

Example of Watch Tower 1

1. Research on site

2. 3D-model from Photogrametry

3. Physical model from site

4. Texturized virtual model

5. Presentation of scenario in VR environment.

Example of Watch Tower 2

1. Research on site

2. 3D-model from Photogrametry

Reactive Immersive Cinema: At a media station the audience is positioned in the middle of several pre-recorded 360° videos, so that they may experience the landscape in which the featured site exists. The interface includes a rotational button which pans across sections of the video.

Picture courtesy of Zlatan Filipovic, Pablo Dornhege and Felix Beck. All images are copyright of their respective owners.
If you want to use any image material from above for publications, please contact felix.beck@nyu.edu or zfilipovic@aus.edu.

© Copyrights by Felix Hardmood Beck, 2002–2023. All rights reserved. 



This website would like to make use of cookies in compliance with European GDPR and the provider’s privacy policy.
To see Felix’s google calendar and google mymaps data you may opt-in by clicking onto Accept, or to opt-out click on Deny.