The Perspective Research Centre (PRC) is a research and educational centre focused on the visual dimensions of Art, Science, and Technology.
The PRC collects materials on the history, theory and applications of perspective, vision, imaging, projection methods, and spatial concepts. It uses electronic media to explore new approaches to knowledge and education.
In summary, PRC seeks grand unification of perspective knowledge across all subject disciplines. QED.
Dr Alan Radley FRSA | Scientific Director
Perspective Research Centre
The Perspective Research Centre (PRC) has a rich 30-year history.
The PRC developed from three past organisations. Firstly, founder Professor Kim H. Veltman was Scientific Director of The Perspective Unit—which began research work on perspective formally as part of the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto in Canada (1990).
Later, the Perspective Unit became the Maastricht McLuhan Institute for Digital Culture, Knowledge Organisation and Learning Technology [MMI] (1998-2004), and finally, from 2004 until the sad passing of Kim in 2020, it became the Virtual Maastricht McLuhan Institute.
Legacy non-interactive copies of past websites are here:
Everything we do flows from the work of Professor Kim Veltman (1948-2020).
Kim H. Veltman was Scientific Director of VMMI (Virtual Maastricht McLuhan Institute); author and consultant on implications of new media for scholarship, culture and society. He taught at the universities of Gottingen, Rome, Carleton; was Director of the Perspective Unit, McLuhan Program, Toronto (1990-1996), and Director of the Maastricht McLuhan Institute (1998-2004). He worked as a consultant in new media for the CEO of Bell Media (1996-1998), and for the director of advanced technologies at Nortel Networks (1995-1998).
Kim Veltman was a colleague of the renowned new media scholar Professor Marshall McLuhan, Art historian Sir Ernst Gombrich; and Leonardo scholar Professor Kenneth Keele (keeper of the Leonardo da Vinci manuscripts for the Queen), plus Kim worked closely with human vision experts Professor(s) B.A.R Carter, A.C. Crombie plus R.A. Weale.
For over 30 years, Kim Veltman was the acknowledged world’s number one expert on perspective, being a ‘historian of the future’; a scholar who fervently studied the past—so that we might all learn how to shape the future conscientiously for the benefit of humanity. He did so whilst being cognisant of the fact that there are—in reality—no isolated topics and/or unbreachable boundaries between things/processes or people/organisations; because everything is connected to everything else (in one sense or another).
Accordingly, Kim sought holistic viewpoints and uniting world-views—and he emphasised the myriad of links between different cultures, religions, subjects, alphabets and languages. Kim was a universalist who endeavoured to identify, analyse and synthesise fundamental truths. Indeed, he amassed a vast collection of axiomatic facts and explanatory theories through exhaustive study of the occidental/oriental libraries held in major institutions such as the Vatican, the Warburg and Welcome Institutes, the Getty Center for the History of Art, and the Universities of London, Gottingen, York and Toronto.
Kim’s life-long quest—as an impassioned cartographer of knowledge—was to study general and particular Things in their broadest, deepest and most essential patterned relations; whilst disclosing the same in erudite publications to enable their auspicious application in a wide-range of circumstances.
Kim’s important and monumental contributions cut right across traditional subject disciplines in the arts and sciences. His work stands as a testament to the comprehensive approach of the generalist—someone who studies all subjects meticulously and expansively—and who follows penetrating causal chains wherever they may lead.
PRC maintains the official archive of Professor Kim Veltman’s lifetime publications. This incredible knowledge bank consists of several million words on perspective, Leonardo da Vinci, old and new media, and the alphabet’s history. Kim’s writings are spread across over 400 publications, including 20 books; 4 major treatises; an unpublished treaty manuscript on Leonardo’s optics (1200 pages); 82 chapters in books; 24 papers in refereed journals; 84 articles, 16 reviews, and 10 vision statements. Plus, we hold extensive records, including design plans and full patent details, on Kim’s visionary System for Universal Multimedia Searching (SUMS).
Kim Veltman CV (64 pages): Kim Veltman CV.pdf
An obituary on Kim appeared in Knowledge Organisation journal (47, 2020, No.6): Kim Veltman.pdf
Alan Radley is Scientific Director of the Perspective Research Centre.
Alan holds a Ph.D. in Physics from University College London, where he worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at Mill Hill Observatory in London. He has worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Maastricht McLuhan Institute, and Senior Scientist at NASA/ESA.
Alan has developed innovative optical designs for cameras, telescopes, spectrographs, 3D displays, and new concepts surrounding eyesight amplification. Currently, he is interested in visual Hypergrams/Hypergraphics, new imaging formats, and interactive image querying/linkage/sequencing/navigation.
Alan is the author of several patents, including one granted for the ‘Hologram Mirror’. He has developed the Global-Opt optical modelling software, the Spectasia 3D user interface, and KeyMail, together amounting to over 300,000 lines of code. Alan has been the editor of 6 computing handbooks, is the author of 8 books, and is currently writing 3 more. Plus, he has authored 6 full chapters in books, and is author of over 20 articles/papers in conference proceedings.
Alan coined several novel scientific terms/concepts, for example: Artificial, Situated and Distributed Intelligence, Personal Virtual Reality, etc., and he is developing practical designs for a World Brain to unify all human knowledge.
Alan serves on several scientific committees for the International Association of Interactive Communication, and he is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Blue Herons Editions. Plus, he is a member of the scientific committee for the international Alaipo conferences and the CCGIDIS Communicability Symposia.
Alan is the author of ‘Self As Computer’, and ‘The Science of Smart Things’. His book ‘The Science of Cybersecurity’ was shortlisted for the National Cybersecurity Book Awards in 2022. Forthcoming books include ‘The Universal Knowledge Machine’ and ‘Dimensions of Perspective’.
Alan holds a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Alan’s CV is here: Alan Radley CV.pdf
The only reason we can offer, today at the PRC, open access to such a remarkable collection of perspective resources; is thanks to the support of key partners. For example, the Perspective Unit at the University of Toronto had a dedicated suite of rooms, full-time staff and state-of-the-art equipment. Later this became the McLuhan Institute at the University of Maastricht.
A sampling of organisations that have supported us financially over the past 30 years, specifically to develop the Library, Bibliography, Encyclopedia, and Dictionary of Perspective include: the universities of Toronto, Cambridge, York, London, Gottingen, Rome, Carlton, and Maastricht.
Plus, we have received financial support from the Association of Interactive Communication (ALAIPO), the Welcome and Warburg Institutes, Bell Labs, Nortel Networks, the Vatican, the Getty Centre for the History of Art, Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB Wolfenbüttel), and the European Union E-Culture Network.
Further financial support has been provided by the province of Ontario, the Welcome Trust, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt and Thyssen Foundations, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, Autodesk, GTE, Matrix Technologies, Softdesk, Vectar, the Information Technology Research Centre (ITRC), the Canadian Heritage Information Network, Cultech, and the Faculty of Education in Toronto, Canada.
We thank all of these parties who have provided significant help that has allowed us to make considerable progress towards our ambitious aim of gathering together everything known on perspective, vision, and related spatial topics.
Today our work continues, as we progress towards our goal of a single route of access to all knowledge on the seminal topic of perspective.
The Perspective Research Centre (PRC), and its earlier incarnations, have been supported by the help of many outstanding persons.
This site is dedicated to my dear friend Professor Kim Veltman (1948-2020) and his incredible scientific legacy, which we endeavour to continue. This site is dedicated to my dear friend Professor Francisco V. C. Ficarra, who kindly supports these efforts. You can learn more about Francisco and his work here: www.alaipo.com.
The PRC has been supported by remarkable people, including Nel and Ger, Francisco V.C. Ficarra, Ellen Radley, Chris Green, and Nigel Pugh.
This site is also dedicated to Professor Ingetraut Dahlberg (1927-2017) and her idea for Universal Order of Knowledge across all subjects. This site is also dedicated to Professor Luigi Vagnetti (1915-1980), renowned Italian Architect and design theorist, for his invaluable help towards building the PRC’s comprehensive Bibliography of Perspective.
This site is also dedicated to Professor B.A.R. Carter (1909-2006), Professor of Perspective at both the Slade School and the Royal Academy. He was untiring in his patient advice and help in building the PRC’s Encyclopaedia and Bibliography of Perspective. This site is also dedicated to Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich (1936-2001), who supervised Kim Veltman’s doctoral thesis and made him aware of the psychological dimensions of the topic.
This site is also dedicated to Professor Marshall McCluhan (1911-1980), the renowned media theorist who provided invaluable support during the early stages of PRC project(s). This site is also dedicated to Professor Kenneth Keele (1909-1987), who was president of the Royal Society of Medicine and keeper of the Leonardo da Vinci manuscripts for the Queen.
We are grateful to the following people: Sir Ernst Gombrich, Professor Kenneth Keele, Professor Marshall McLuhan, Professor B.A.R Carter, Professor A.C. Crombie, Professor R.A. Weale, Professor Luigi Vagnetti, Professor Frederik Andres, Professor Jaap van Till, Professor Francisco V. C. Ficarra, Dr Eric McLuhan, Dr Richard Dolen, Franz Nahrada, Corinne McLuhan, Alexander G. Bielowski, David Fabish, Michael Kupka, Michael Hackl, Nino Nien, Maximus Kuptsov, Andrew Kotov, Zoya Ignonia, Jonathan Shekter, Jordan Christensen, David Pritchard, Avanindra Utukuri, Andrew McCutcheon, Sean Graham, Ming Lin, and Joseph Makush.