Unlock a hidden history and discover a living archive of immersive heritage content inside St Mary Le Strand, London. Working in collaboration with curators from Kings College London and the Courtauld Institute of Art, Hexology has produced an Augmented Reality installation that celebrates the church’s fascinating past.
Steeped in history, St Mary Le Strand Church adorns the culturally rich Strand Aldwych area in the heart of London. Named “Jewel in the Strand” by the people of the city, its Italian style architecture has survived three centuries, the London Blitz of World War 2 and a city council area re-development program. Facing King’s College London, Somerset House and London’s celebrated West End theatreland, the Church was once stranded on an island in the middle of two lanes of fast moving traffic. Even the origin story of this historic building is fascinating, it begins in the middle ages and was shaped by Tudor and Jacobite politics; with a cryptic set of Da Vinci style coded symbols inside the church, displayed in plain sight for all to see. This hidden history has been written into the digital dimension of the public space inside the Church, and also around the newly pedestrianised Strand Aldwych area.
Enriching your experience of being in the physical world, imagine standing inside St Mary Le Strand Church and being able to access a layer of digital information floating in the air around you.
Sharing the Hexology Experience
Posting digital content into objects, spaces and places enriches the physical world around you. If you have already installed our free app, your Hexology experience at St Mary Le Strand might begin with a notification that automatically appears on your phone as you enter the Church. Or perhaps it is a destination that you discover from a nearby coffee shop, whilst browsing content listed in the ‘Around Me’ page. Whereas, if you are new to Hexology then your journey into the digital realm inside St Mary Le Strand might start with a QR code on a printed poster, a flyer inside the Church, or by invitation – via a deep link someone has shared. Once installed, Hexology gives you access to content posted into the world around you without having to touch or scan a thing.
In the same way that Alice tumbled into wonderland, you should also expect to enter an immersive augmented reality world of story inside the Church. Layers of content about the Church, its history and the people who lived in the community (including Charles Dickens) have been woven into the objects and spaces inside the church, and its surrounding area. If you follow Hexology you will know that we post heritage content into London Statues, for people to learn about their achievements when they are near the statue. London is beautiful, and it is the history and culture of the city that makes it so fantastic. At Hexology, the lesser known stories that exist within the folds of a city, than interests us most. Such as:
- Samuel Johnson – the great literary critic and lexicographer – did you know he had Tourettes Syndrome?
- Louisa Aldrich-Blake – the first British female surgeon – she paved the way for women in a profession
- Emmeline Pankhurst – led the suffragette movement
Opening any of these links on your phone will open content that has been written into the physical location of the statue. To put this into the context, Hexology is on a mission to create a peak experience wherever you go!
Enhance the Physical World and Enrich the Visitor Experience
Peter Babington is the Priest-in-Charge of St Mary Le Strand Church. From his perspective, the installation of immersive content Hexology has placed into the church, opens up new possibilities in terms of:
- Enriching the visitor experience
- Making the history of the church and its community accessible
- Fostering connections with other local sites and organisations
Importantly, it gives Peter a platform to reach an audience that is made up of people who have all at one point in time, walked through the doors and entered the Church.
Unlike mainstream social media, content inside Hexology has a life-cycle of months, it is at this stage a bit like sowing seeds that will grow over time. Given that Hexology is all about location-based content it engages a smaller category of people but in a much deeper way; it is also enabling a hyperlocal conversation to take place on a global stage – giving other historians or heritage enthusiasts an opportunity to add their posts too. Hexology gives content creators the tools to crowdsource content using a ‘Source’ which anyone can add their post to, or a ‘Collection’ which shows only content that has been curated by the Content Creator.
Meet the Hexology Content Creator / Curator Team
With a launch date expected to be announced very soon, the production of the immersive heritage content inside St Mary Le Strand is approaching completion. Working in collaboration with immersive content creator Robert Morgan, Hexology has over a 10 week period, constructed a showcase project for the people that live, work and visit the culturally rich Strand Aldwych area to enjoy.
Researched and curated by immersive content creators Beatrice Stankeviciute from the Courtauld Institute of Art and Victoria Von Conrad of King’s College London, the St Mary Le Strand installation is expected to grow. We anticipate that the content collection will get an occasional update and recieve contributions from a wide range of international sources.
Congratulations to Robert Morgan, Beatrice Stankeviciute and Victoria Von Conrad who are literally on the cusp of completing the Hexology affiliate training and certification program. To find out how you can build an immersive content installation at your site, contact us.