Digital Heritage: Mixed Reality Innovation

Richard Koeck gives keynote at AMPS conference, Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities, Art, and Media, University of Kent, June 2020.

Global Cities Forum

Richard Koeck gives keynote at IVMC 5, International Visual Methods Conference in Singapore, 16-18 Aug 2017. This year's interdisciplinary conference theme is "Visualising the City".

Lecture at AA in London

Prof Koeck gives lecture at Film, Space and Architecture symposium at AA in London on the topic of "spatial immersion"; alongside scholars such as Brian Hatton, Francois Penz, Ian Christie and Nigel Coates and Robert Maxwell.

Transdisciplinary Design: Milan 2017

Find out about our EU Transdisciplinary Design Network on "Emerging Models of Transdisciplinarity: Driving Business, Technology & Design Innovation". More info and a short documentary film in our PORTFOLIO.

Nemeh Alrihani in International News

Nemeh Alrihani features in the New Arab News, talking about his research  on the crowd-sourced photogrammetric reconstructions for Al-Kazneh in Petra, Jordon.

Global Cities Forum

Prof Richard Koeck gives public lecture on the "History and future of Immersive experiences", highlighting the characteristics of "innovation"; entrepreneurial mindsets, risks and rewards.  

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Shaun the Sheep: Immersive Experience

CAVA, Aardman and the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) have won a £500k AHRC UK-China Industry Partnership grant to produce research & innovation for a location-based, immersive experience in Shanghai. See NEWS.

St Georges Hall: AR Prototype

CAVA wins Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) with Liverpool City Council as partner to build a prototype around the concept of "digital placemaking", supported by McCann Manchester and Microsoft, using  MS Hololens.

St Georges Hall: AR Prototype

CAVA wins UoL Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant with Liverpool City Council as partner to build a prototype digital interpretation project around leading-edge AR and MR technology to be installed at St Georges Hall.

AHRC Creative Economy Fellowship 

CAVA is consortium partner in AHRC Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship (CEEF). Up to 9 postdoctoral fellows will be appointed between the research centre partners to grow and scale up the creative industries in the North West.

AHRC Transformation North West

CAVA is consortium partner in Transformation NW, a fully-funded doctoral training programme that applies design and creative techniques to maximise new product and service opportunities for business in the North West.

Innovate UK: Design Foundations

It was recently announced that Spark Compass UK and CAVA have won the Innovate UK "Design Foundation" competition to develop new "intelligent, real-time, hyper-local screen-based OoH marketing" innovation.

EU ROCK Project: RIBA Heritage Tour

CAVA has been commised to produce the RIBA Architectural Heritage Tour of Liverpool, combining mobile walking tour and stationary AR experience at RIBA North Gallery.

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Opening Exhibition at RIBA NORTH

Visitors of RIBA North can watch a newly commissioned two-screen documentary film and several animations by Monika Koeck, reflecting on the theme ‘Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-Taker’. More information, see "news".

Presentation at Houses of Parliament

Monika and Richard Koeck win the 2020 TVE Global Sustainability Film Award and the  2020 The Impact DOCS Awards Competition for their film Coronavirus Pandemic: Making Safer Emergency Hospitals. See NEWS.

Video Installation: Béton Armé & Écrans Urbains

Richard Koeck shows his observational films "beton armé" and "écrans urbanise", both shot in Paris in 2015, as part of the Libidinal Circuits conference at FACT. 

Research Documentary: Coronavirus Pandemic

Monika  and Richard Koeck produce award-winning research documentary film. Winner of 2020 TVe Global Sustainibility in Film Award and winner of 2020 Impact Docs Award.

St George's Hall, XR Heritage Project

CAVA team is pioneering the world's first Mixed Reality (Hololens) project that includes volumetric 3D film (Dimension Studios) put together with life action at UNESCO world heritage site; St George's Hall.

St George's Hall, XR Heritage Project

Grade 1 listed building St George's Hall opens The History Whisperer™ to public. Nearly 2000 tickets sold in the first 24h. The first immersive experience of its kind in Liverpool, the UK and beyond.

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Real  |  virtual  |  Mixed Realities


Space, Media & Culture

The Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA)  is a practice-based and multi-disciplinary research centre that is situated in the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool.

We are interested in the critical intersection of space, media and culture in the context of digital, networked spaces and spatial practices with particular emphasis on their social and economic impact.

We  apply design and system thinking/methods to study trans-disciplinary impact and consider the theoretical/practical intersection between analogue and digital culture.

We take inspiration from

"Architecture no longer can (if it ever could) be understood as an autonomous medium of mass, space and light but now serves as the constructed ground for encountering and extracting meaning from cross-connected flows of aural, textual and graphic and digital information through global networks."

W. J. Mitchell, Placing Words: Symbols, Space, and the City (MIT Press, 2005)


What they Say?

CAVA provides a stimulating environment to work with  experts in architecture, creative technologies, cultural industries, film/video, advertising/marketing, as well as award-winning artists. 

Richard Koeck, Director of CAVA  


What they Say?

The research activities of the Centre are underpinned by the cultural approach to architecture and the visual arts introduced at the University of Liverpool by Colin Rowe and James Stirling.

Marco Iuliano, CAVA Research Director


What they Say?

Our longstanding relationship with CAVA has enabled high value collaborations, such as several collaborative doctorate awards, publications, international conferences/symposia and much more.

Roger McKinley, Research & Innovation Manager, FACT


What they Say?

"We are a design-led technology grown in Liverpool and working across the world. Working with CAVA and the University of Liverpool has transformed our business."

Lee Omar, CEO Red Ninja


What they Say?

Working at CAVA at the University of Liverpool gave me the opportunity to connect my research to key cultural organisations in the city such as FACT.

Pooya Sanjari, PhD student


What they Say?

I am pursuing a collaborative doctoral research with FACT - funded by the AHRC -
which gives me a critical perspective on the value of art and insight into curatorial activities.

David Ogle, PHd Student  


What they Say?

My collaborative doctoral research with McCann Manchester is funded by the AHRC and looks in leading-edge virtual and augmented reality applications in the context of outdoor urban advertising.

Michael Verity, PHd Student  

What we research

Interdisciplinary Spatial theory and practice

film & Architecture

We undertake research into the representation of space/architecture in film as well as theoretical and practical implications of filmic/cinematic qualities of architecture and cities.

vR & AR Experience SPACE

We have expertise in how space, architecture and cities are increasingly characterised by and extended into digital experiences and virtual and augmented forms of representation.


We are interested in how urban form and the architectural fabric of cities inform city placemaking – e.g. from morphological, planning, sociological, cultural, artistic, and heritage perspectives.

outdoor advertising

We work on theories and creative concepts that regard outdoor advertising as integrated, responsive and individualised means capable of transforming urban form and lived experiences.


With expertise that encompasses a broad and multi-faceted approach to maps and map-making, CAVA explores the mixed- and multi-media possibilities of mapping in the digital age.


We explore the cultural production and consumption of space and place, and the interdisciplinary cross-currents of practice and performance that underpin spatial humanities approaches to cities.

our Expertise

Research Tools & Methods  

Digital Film
Augmented/Mixed Reality
GIS/GPS Mapping
3d Animation  
Stereoscopic Vision
locative Media
our fields of operations

KNOWLEDGE about the image of cities


We pursue interdisciplinary research in areas such as film/architecture, digital/virtual space, mapping/cartography, city branding/marketing and spatial anthropology.


We work with city stakeholders, such as city councils, planning authorities, museums and galleries, industry partners, and the public to change the way see and engage with space, architecture and cities.

creative practice

CAVA researchers often use creative practices such as moving images, installations, augmented/virtual reality or mobile and location-based technologies as proof of concept for their research.  


We have a track record of producing internationally excellent (3*) and world-leading (4*) publications returned to the UK Higher Education Research Excellence Framework (REF).

our Expertise

practice-based research

Based on Trans-disciplinary design Thinking

4K /360 3D

High-end digital video capture systems, such as BlackMagic Pro (4K) and 360/3D Video (8K)


Positionally tracked Virtual Reality systems, such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Occipital Bridge


Augmented Reality integration into mobile applications, using AR Kit, Unity and other systems

Mixed Reality

Tailored Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality applications and virtual information modelling

Traditional & Design-Based research

CAVA research Portfolio


Contact Us

University of Liverpool | School of Architecture
Abercromby Square | Liverpool, L69 7ZN