Future Landscapes

Future Landscapes is intensive four-week program created in collaboration with the Moore Institute at NUI Galway and Galway 2020.

Compelling us all is an interest in creatively exploring vast landscapes in the physical world and of the mind while gaining an understanding of the potentials of augmented-, virtual-, and mixed reality through a myriad of critical, conceptual, and hands-on approaches.

Using technology to imagine unknown realities can inspire new ways of looking at the world. In designing new forms of interactive and tactile experiences, artistic creation and storytelling, what could we add or augment to our surroundings to develop new narratives about landscapes, be them physical, social, or mental, that permeate our lives? What forms of play and togetherness might we be able to create and sustain? Could thoughtful discourse on landscapes and realities empower us to making impactful change?

Landscapes, Network located videos, 2016 – ongoing, Evan Roth.

Course Description

Mixed Reality (MR) refers to a suit of technologies that anchors virtual objects in a space, allowing for the possibility of “real” interaction with those objects.

With Augmented Reality (AR), in addition to superimposing images and 3D models over the camera feed, these toolkits offer the opportunity to map physical spaces, understand ambient lighting and track the position of a phone in space. Pokemon Go used these techniques to capture the public interest and brought AR into the mainstream, but it begs the question, what else can we do with this technology? In this class, we’ll explore the spectrum of what these tools have to offer.

These techniques are just a starting point for what may be possible. There is much experimentation to be done by utilising the other capabilities of handheld devices to stream live data, communicate with others, and incorporate information from built in sensors.

Although various types of augmented and virtual reality systems have existed for some time, recent advances in mobile technology platforms provide us more powerful ways of creating and sharing these experiences with a wider audience. So as the technology is advancing, what happens when we bring conceptual ideas and criticality to the fore?

The primary tool of this program will be Unity 3D.

We will work with the ARKit and Vuforia libraries. As we engage the potential of these new tools, we will also take a critical perspective discussing the shortcomings and challenges of future technologies.

In this course, you will learn

– Critical and conceptual development of projects
– Creative development with Unity3D
– Scripting in Unity3D to create interactivity
– Introduction to ARKit (iOS) and Vuforia
– Attaching virtual objects to real image markers
– Creating both AR and VR experiences
– Recording and placing sounds inside a virtual AR space
– Designing an AR space that can be shared and explored with multiple people at the same time
– Building mixed reality experiences
– An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators
– **No previous experience necessary**

Course Outline

Week 1: Introductions, concepts, narratives, play, and critical discourse.

Week 2: Tools and techniques for creating interactive experiences in Unity

Week 3: Advanced tools and techniques for creating interactive experiences in Unity. Adding physicality into our work through props and found artifacts.

Week 4:Preparing talks, presentations, and Mixed Reality experiences for final showcase open to the public.

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