Altered perceptions: Using immersive sound and image to depict experiences of blindness

In this PhD project, I propose to develop virtual reality film with immersive sound and vision depicting the phenomenological experience of living with sight disorder, which involves accentuated attention to the auditory world. Moreover, I will research about the effects that visual impairment had on 19th and 20th century painters and how they relied on memories and listening to sounds in the scene to paint, thus using imagination more than reason. The immersive film will transport the audience into an experience of someone transitioning from realism, into a surreal state of imagination driven by memory and sound.

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In this research, I propose to gather both symptomatic and phenomenological findings relating to sight impairment and apply these to a creative expression of these deeply human experiences through film, artwork, and immersive media. It provides the opportunity to: (a) generate new knowledge about the experience of sight loss itself, (b) refine the application of new cinematic and sound design techniques, and (c) share positive stories about blindness highlighting the sense of hearing as their main tool for communication. These are the three objectives and contributions of the PhD and this project. Its overall impact will be to familiarize people who are able to see with the perceptions of the blind. This may create support, learning and development opportunities to help blind and visually impaired people to develop the resilience and skills they will need to navigate their own futures.

Dora Filipovic


Dora Filipovic is an award-winning sound designer based in London with years of experience working on short, feature fiction and documentary films. She began her professional career back in 2011 (while she was still a BA student at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Serbia) when she started working in a team on numerous and noted feature and short films as a sound editor and sound designer. She received as many as seven awards at national and international film festivals such as the “Best film in South-Eastern Europe” at SEECS Short Film Festival in Istanbul (2016) and “The City of Belgrade Award” for the greatest accomplishment of youth in the field of arts (2017) for her documentary film, and Master Thesis “Glances of Closed Eyes”. This year she received the Dr Christian Heil Future of Sound Scholarship from Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation and L-Acoustics company for tuition fees.