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Born in Bradford

Discover the stories behind one of the world’s largest human experiments

The Born in Bradford immersive experience explores the potential of immersive technologies to enable users to engage with large, multidimensional datasets in order to promote creative, flexible thinking about the world, society, and one’s place within it.

Born in Bradford is a world-leading longitudinal birth cohort study that tracks the lives of 13,818 individuals from birth to adulthood, and represents a powerful way of understanding the many influences that shape our lives. However, the collected data includes multiple variables for each participant across different time-points, so overall trends can be difficult to perceive. Another challenge with this sort of complex data is to find effective ways of engaging participants, stakeholders and policy makers, to empower them to make societal changes that promote health and well-being.

The Born in Bradford Immersive Experience is an example of a VR art science collaboration that combines machine learning techniques with aesthetic devices, allowing users to explore big data. Built using fast point-cloud xR technology from Reflex Arc, the aim is to develop a narrative framework that provides interpretable insights (e.g., the relationship between socio-economic status and air quality), and promote public engagement in health and social science research.

Collaborators:  are collaborative storytellers working at the intersection of art, science and performance with large scale audio-visual installation and immersive technologies. is an award winning micro-studio based in Leeds, UK, creating engaging VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), mobile, web and depth sensor enabled applications.

University of Leeds is ranked 11th in the UK according to the Guardian University Guide 2020, and among the world top 100 according to the QS World University Rankings 2019. It is also part of the prestigious Russell Group – a collection of 24 research intensive universities in the UK. The University recognises the vast potential immersive technologies have to make a positive impact upon our lives and in 2019 launched the Centre for Immersive Technologies. The Centre works with partners from the public and private sectors to drive innovation across a range of disciplines assisting companies and organisations in the use of virtual reality and augmented reality for maximum benefit and competitive edge. Its evidence-based approach helps organisations to see the advantages and potential pitfalls of immersive technologies and aims to place humans at the heart of the immersive technologies revolution.

Centre for Applied Education Research houses the Born In Bradford Project. CAER is a partnership between the Bradford Institute of Health Research, the Universities of Leeds and Bradford, Leeds Trinity University, the Department for Education, the Local Authority, the Bradford Research School and the Educational Endowment Foundation. CAER is also at the heart of two exciting projects: the healthy learning strand of ActEarly and the healthy schools strand of ARC. (  are a collective of artists, scientists and technologists specialising in transforming complex data into compelling immersive experiences.


An Artwork by CalibuYau (Christophe De Bezenac & Dave Lynch)

Conceived and created as part of the cultural institute fellowship in art and science at the university of Leeds

Experience made by Richard England at

Data provided by Ning Lu & Dan Mason at Bradford Institute For Health Research (Born in Bradford)

Voice Over by Mailys who is 8 years old not 13!

Music by Lee Smith from

Commissioned by The centre for immersive technologies at the University of Leeds

Thanks to :
Faisal Mushtaq
Mark Mon Williams
John Wright
Steve Manthorp & Sue Hayton

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