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Breaking Through the Screen: Design Research Methods for Virtual Reality

About the Talk

March 24, 2018 3:00 PM

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

The digital space has been defined as the Screen since the birth of personal computing, but what is the Screen but a “promise of a space you cannot enter?” (Maris Watz, Eyeo Festival 2014) Virtual Reality (VR), which in this session includes Augmented and Mixed Reality, provides us the opportunity to redefine this space. The digital environment is no longer bound to an increasingly flat screen, but can become an immersive environment within one’s home or remap the landscape of a dull daily commute. VR enables us to create new interfaces for complex information interaction and communication. Are we ready?

Most VR hardware and content remain attached to the idea of the Screen. Experiences and devices are usually built around and for a 360 degree view that emphasizes the visual sense above others. So, how do we truly break through the Screen? How do we approach architecting and designing for the full promise of VR? Does design research translate to the new digital space?

In this session, I will introduce sensory modalities as key to designing for VR. I will propose VR-specific design research methods, and show how to adapt current ones for this emerging technology, including:

VR 5Es Experience model for bodies interfacing with a device. Rapid prototyping methods that don’t require 3D modeling skills. While this talk is proposing a conceptual framework, attendees will walk away with techniques that can be implemented and integrated without a deep skill-set in 3D modeling or coding.

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