Technology comes to the fore of the Arts sector, when The University of Queensland hosts the commercial launch of Ortelia Interactive Spaces on 21 November 2013.

The launch, to be held at the UQ Art Museum, will showcase Ortelia’s two new products which provide interactive, educational and innovative 3D services for art galleries, museums, theatres and the education sector.

Originally conceived through the work of Professor Joanne Tompkins from UQ’s School of English, Media Studies and Art History, the 3D technology that represents theatre spaces took off in 2001 through the involvement of UniQuest, UQ’s main commercialisation company, and introduction to Mr Lazaros Kastanis, at UQ’s Advanced Computational Modeling Centre at the time.

“We’ve come a long way since the project’s inception,” Professor Tompkins said.

“The original project was around the idea of theatre spaces, but we soon realised the real commercial potential had to involve modeling virtual environments in the online world.”

“We’ve been fortunate to receive grant funding to develop the software prototypes and have worked with some fantastic industry partners, such as La Boite Theatre, The Powerhouse, and the UQ Art Museum, to model the software in real life environments and refine the technology,” she said.

Ortelia Pty Limited is a startup company of UniQuest, established in 2009 with Mr Kastanis as CEO, a Director and main salesperson.

“This year we commenced work on a number of significant projects, including one for the Museums and Galleries, New South Wales, and one with the Queensland Theatre Company,” Mr Kastanis said.

“We are now a growing startup company with two new products and an increasing customer base seeking business growth partners. The potential is massive.”

“UniQuest is proud of the exciting commercial developments driven forward by Ortelia, which has cleverly combined the needs of theatre and gallery with 3D technology to produce a powerful product where those interests intersect,” said UniQuest’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Dean Moss.

The software package has two key components: Ortelia Curator, for professional curators; and Ortelia Virtual Set Designer, for theatre professionals.

Both products have applications for the education sector, with educators and students in mind.

“Whether it’s a curated exhibition, a theatre set design, digital archiving, simulations or a virtual walkthrough, Ortelia allows its clients to reach a wider audience using its 3D solutions with ease,” he said.

In the education space, Ortelia Virtual Set Designer is being used in a number of Queensland school reference sites, and lesson plans are under development to complement the product for the education market.

Professor Tompkins has continued to use the tool as a teaching and learning aid, and in her own research into cultural spaces which has resulted in a range of papers delivered internationally on these concepts.

This research investigates the operation of historical theatres that no longer exist, such as the Rose Theatre in London (circa 1600). She has identified a number of factors that change the received knowledge of how performance worked at this time, thanks to the immersive nature of the Ortelia models.

About Ortelia Pty Limited
Ortelia Pty Limited delivers high quality, interactive, educational, and innovative 3D products and services for art galleries, museums, theaters and the education sector. Whether it’s a curated exhibition, a theatre set design, digital archiving, simulations or a virtual walkthrough, Ortelia allows its clients to reach a wider audience using its 3D solutions with ease.

The company’s mission is to bring the available digital technologies to the sector in an innovative and effective manner thereby allowing organisations to extend their reach and audiences.

Ortelia professionals ‘install’ an exhibition (either forthcoming or past) in an interactive model of the client’s venue.  These virtual models:

  • offer guided tours of the venue;
  • provide the option for users to explore the gallery or museum by themselves;
  • provide museums and galleries a means of extending their audiences;
  • permit curators, set designers and other designers to see design issues in a virtual environment on line;
  • have the potential to decrease the costs associated with the setting up of an exhibition, a theatre set, an event etc.;
  • can be reused for each new exhibition that is shown in the space; and
  • offer school groups and young patrons the chance to try curating their own exhibition or to learn about a particular artist or work.

Ortelia specialises in the modeling and archiving of heritage buildings and historic venues, and simulating past exhibitions in those locations.

The Ortelia team has a deep understanding of the Arts and Cultural Heritage sectors. It is comprised of professionals from the fields of gaming technology, drama, real-time modeling and real-time content development.

For more information about Ortelia and its products, please visit  or contact Mr Lazaros Kastanis via

About The University of Queensland (UQ)
The University of Queensland, Australia, is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions. It is consistently ranked in the top 100 in the four leading independent global rankings. With more than 45,000 students and 7500 staff, UQ’s teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight research institutes.

For more information about UQ, please visit

About UQ’s Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is central to the University’s role of providing a broad, liberal education to the community, an integral element of the role of universities today. The Faculty is committed to excellence in teaching, research, research training and scholarship, service provision and community linkages.

The Faculty comprises four Schools, in what could be considered the core humanities disciplines. These are the School of English, Media Studies and Art History, the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, and the School of Music.

The Faculty supports a number of Research Centres, namely the Centre for the History of European Discourses; Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, Centre for the Government of Queensland and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (UQ Node). The centres serve to concentrate research endeavours and promote national, and international linkages in specialised fields.

The Faculty incorporates the Institute of Modern Languages, which offers language classes to the community, and the Confucius Institute which provides a gateway to collaboration between Australia and China in language and culture and in science, engineering and technology.

For more information about UQ’s Faculty of Arts, please visit

About UniQuest Pty Limited
UniQuest is the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland (UQ), specialising in the commercialisation of intellectual property, research outcomes and expertise.  UniQuest delivers commercialisation outcomes which are valuable for UQ and profound for business, the environment, global communities and society as a whole.

UniQuest’s two business offerings – IP Commercialisation and Expertise Commercialisation – are designed to support UQ’s global strategy, industry engagement and reputation for excellence.

UniQuest benchmarks in the top 10 percent globally for university-based technology transfer. UniQuest-licensed UQ innovations are now generating annual sales of $3 billion.  UQ technology, through licensing arrangements, is used in two-thirds of the world’s MRIs and more than 79 million doses of the life-saving Gardasil® cervical cancer vaccine, patented by UniQuest in 1991, have been distributed throughout 121 countries, including 72 developing countries.

For more information about UniQuest, please visit

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