CIRRUS is a Nordic-Baltic network of Art and Design higher education. There are 20 excellent art and design schools from the Nordics and the Baltics in the circle of this cooperation. The central activities of the partner institutions are art and design, including innovative activities, technical development and artistic practices.

VR Typography: Words for Peace Part 1: Democracy

A CIRRUS workshop

VR Typography: Words for Peace Part 1: Democracy
Sun 19 Feb – Fri 24 Feb 2023


Workshop Description

VR Typography: Words for Peace


  • The workshop explores the design of typography and the audience experience of reading text in a virtual environment. The theme of the workshop is Design(ers) for Peace with a sub-theme Democracy.


  • The workshop will introduce the basic principles of virtual reality for designers and how they apply to the design of information and typography in a virtual environment.


  • Concepts such as composition, interaction and audience perspective will be explored practically through designing and learning to build a simple prototype.


  • Students will learn the basics of Unity and how to design information for a VR environment. The aim of the workshop is to design and prototype a simple VR reading experience.


  • Prior knowledge of 3D software is helpful, but not essential. Students will work in small groups.


  • Because VR is still an emerging technology, good examples of information design and typography in virtual environments are scarce, so this is an opportunity to explore the future possibilities.


Workshop tutors:


Robert Griffin (BA (Hons), MSc, MSc) teaches at IADT and has been involved in all aspects of course design, teaching, promotion and assessment. He has expertise in ICT, UX/UI, Cyberpsychology, VR. He is currently researching increasing empathy towards the visually impaired using virtual reality. Rob is programme chair of the MSc in Cyberpsychology and has a special interest in Virtual Reality. He has been at the forefront of encouraging students to engage with emerging technology at IADT, championing Virtual Reality projects in the Institute as much as possible. Rob is very interested in seeing how VR can be adapted across the spectrum of traditional subjects. He wants to see filmmakers, model makers, computing students and psychologists getting to work together on VR projects to see what they make.


Dr Hilary Kenna is a lecturer in design & user experience (UX) at IADT. She has taught interaction design, graphic design and typography in the BA(hons) in Visual Communication for nearly 20 years. She currently teaches on the Masters in User Experience Design and the postgraduate Certificate in Design Thinking at IADT. Hilary has a PhD in Design Principles for Screen Typography from the University of Arts London. She designed the awarding winning app The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, which was the subject of her TedX talk, Words Made Usable. Hilary has led research projects in data visualisation and her work was granted two US design patents and commercially developed into a product. She has lectured about and published her work internationally.


Tentative workshop schedule (more detailed info will be given to workshop participants):


Sunday 19 Feb: 10:00 – 17:00: a sightseeing tour on a private bus with a guide for all workshop participants: Helsinki and nearby areas (the workshop will treat lunch and coffee)

Mon 20 Feb – Fri 24 Feb: workshop (9.30-17:00)


In total: 3 ECTS


Students interested in participating in the workshop should submit a statement of interest and a portfolio or a link to the portfolio to on the 16th of January at the latest. The selection results will be announced on the 19th of January.

The students will receive a Cirrus grant of 670 EUR for travel, sustenance, and accommodation (suggestions will be given). Daily lunch (vegan) will be provided as well as a 7-day local travel card.

Further questions should be addressed to Tarja Nieminen (