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Art commissioned for Trumpington Community College officially unveiled


By Gemma Gardner


Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell

A piece of art commissioned for a new secondary school has been officially unveiled.

Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. Picture: Keith Heppell

The digital artwork from London studio Umbrellium is located in the central atrium of the newly-built Trumpington Community College.

Cinder is a virtual cat, who appears on a large augmented reality screen, is part interactive mascot and part avatar for the building. Cinder reacts in real-time to the state of the environment and its occupants.

Students can interact with Cinder, who holds her paw out to friendly gestures and occasionally scampers away, disappearing into a network to hunt for ‘food’ generated in real-time by the solar panels on the roof.

On sunny days, when more energy is produced, students are able to feed her food from their laptops, but when solar food is scarce, she is less motivated to play.

Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cinder was created by Umbrellium with design help from students at the college. Over time, Cinder changes size, colour and personality, responding as the surrounding environment changes and students interact with her.

Usman Haque, founding partner of Umbrellium, said: “We created Cinder to give the students and staff insight into and understanding of the building they work and play in.

“Cinder’s environment affects her daily life, for example, the food available to eat is influenced directly by the amount of solar energy harnessed by the building from the previous day.

“We wanted to find a creative way to help bring the building environment to life and give students a unique and engaging experience of the world around them. We are delighted that the students and staff have taken Cinder as their own digital pet.”

Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trumpington Community College, official launch of Cinder the schools digital cat. From left Rohana Rao, Chris Louridas, Ling Tan the Designer, Freddie Collie (who named the cat) and Nina Stephenson. Picture: Keith Heppell

Head of School, John Jones added: “It has been a real pleasure working with the team from Umbrellium over the past 18 months. The students have been inspired by the project and the artwork that we now have Trumpington Community College is truly innovative.”



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