This section is in development (more content is forthcoming).
This section of the portfolio presents a selection of projects that are either stand-alone projects or installations within larger exhibitions. The common thread is my emphasis on strong digital design and integration in meaningful ways to satisfy rich experience goals, building engagement, while at the same time as achieving strategic outcomes and operational efficiencies. The digital installation type changes, the technology used is varied, but the transmedia approach is consistently applied, and the project goals consistently achieved.
Weaving a Better Future (VR & Transmedia Storytelling)
The Weaving a Better Future installation was originally created to supplement the Empowering Women exhibition. The exhibition presents the stories of women’s cooperatives that work to claim rights, build communities, and raise living and education standards. It is an exhibition composed of rich 3D artefacts, and is a largely passive experience. My design goals were to diversify and increase the experience design offering, to increase intimacy and overall engagement. The richness of the experience was not due to the VR itself, but the transmedia of the VR sitting in juxtaposition of the dress and loom, and all components of the installation working together. I also wanted to extend the storytelling to both onsite and remote audiences, and create positive legacy of the effort spend.
The Guatemalan’s women’s first-person testimony overlaid 360° video of culturally and historically important areas – their work areas, the markets and shops, their communities, gardens and paths, even their kitchens where they make and serve their family dinners. The compositions were presented through Virtual Reality and made available for Oculus, Andoid, and iOS. There was strict attention to both sound design and, as always, inclusive design and accessibility.
As the artefacts (dress and loom), the documentary photos, and built/scenographic environment were experienced by the visitor in-gallery, the VR installation transported the visitor to Guatemala where they heard from the women first-hand (as opposed to reading about their experience), could hear and see the sounds of their environment, and even be welcomed in to their kitchens.
Additionally tactile elements were added to each aspect of Empowering Women, adding tactility to what would have otherwise been an entirely visual experience. The final production was also provided back to the women who now use the VR and 360° video (iPad) versions for teaching and promotion. The installation served to increase entry points to the stories, diversify the experience design (active and passive), created rich and popular engagement (as measured), and extended the storytelling to remote audiences (those who would never make it to the museum). After the close of Empowering Women, Weaving A Better Future (the VR, artefacts, images and text) have become a travelling installation extending the reach of the museum. It has travelled nationally and internationally even having been presented twice in Guatemala.
Stitching Our Struggles (AR & Transmedia Storytelling)
The Stitching Our Struggles installation was a component of a larger exhibit that examined Freedom of Expression in Latin America. My goals for the use of Augmented Reality in this installation were to increase detailed artefact exploration, extend the experience to remote audiences, and provide supplemental content and interpretation.
Arpilleras are patchwork textiles that were made and used during Pinochet’s Chilean military dictatorship. The presentation saw these rich textiles presented under low lighting conditions, in environmentally sensitive cases (strictly controlling humidity and temperature). The typical limits of physical exhibition design also mean that interpretive content is kept minimal and the practical constraints of label sizing really determine how much story can be told.
Augmented Reality allowed the visitors to examine the artefacts in closer detail (pinch and zoom), provided an opportunity for supplemental interpretation (audio, video, text content added, and invoked by hotspot), and provided guided tours of the artefacts. The same image recognition technology that launched the content in gallery meant that post-cards or any images of the arpilleras could launch the content. As such educators could use the app in the classrooms, visitors could revisit the content, or those who never made it to the museum could explore these important stories just as well as visitors/groups in the gallery. The constraints of the physical installation were vastly mitigated through the use of digital integration and creation of transmedia storytelling that also supplemented and increased the experience design scenario, and extended the reach beyond the walls of the gallery. The AR installation now exists and is used well after the physical exhibit was taken down.
SElections: History of the Vote (Video Game)
The History of the Vote video game was presented in 3 forms: in-gallery at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now Canadian Museum of History), online from the Elections Canada web site, and via CD-ROM distributed to educators. The design and development of the game was done in partnership with Elections Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, and educators. Mimicking the format of the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire game show, players were able to learn about the history of voting rights in Canada, as well as the democratic and electoral systems in Canada, via game-play. If users successfully made it to the end of the game they were able to print out a personalized certificate. The famliar “call a friend” function from the game show was replaced with a function that brought players to web resources where they could look-up and find the answers, then return to the game and complete the task. Careful though! Asking the audience can be tricky, as just like in the game show, the audience does not always know best.