"I don't have the words to explain": an AR experience
This piece experiments with perception, specifically Gestalt's theory on closure, to foster empathy. Our brain makes sense of the world by "closing" up visual gaps. The piece attempts to leverage this "brain work" by giving the user abstract "pieces" in the hopes of building empathy.
Watch the video above, or try it out yourself here!
Audio is best with headphones and volume high! If possible, stand 2 feet away from your webcam!
Why Not VR?
There a lot of educational, empathy-building experiences in VR, but many have criticized for bring "game-y" and "triggering"
I was curious to see if AR could reduce these issues. In AR, I do not have to create the entire world/story; instead, users see small pieces of the story and then work to understand. Our brain makes sense of the world by "closing" together visual input.
There's More Work to be Done
Ideally, this project would expand past an art installation and transform into an actual educational tool. During the show, I was able to gain a ton of feedback that will help shape the project to accomplish this goal.
One main point of feedback was that the project left people hanging. I will be striving to create a form of closure or call to action in the piece. I want users to be able to take what they learn and apply it.
My Process in a nutshell: Coding Coding Coding
Created a prototype on After Effects, conducting user testing to create a definitive storyline
Discovered limitations in animation files and compression (my animations were too large!)
Added animations to code, utilizing machine learning (to map lungs onto bodies) and p5.play libraries
Coded animations to be flexible on different bodies and interactions
More user testing (can you ever have enough?)