By Phil van Allen
Media Design Practices dives into Immersive Media with intensive project class in early 2017 on the future of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 360 Video. We’ve set up an Immersive Media testing ground in our studio. The new lab features an ever-evolving stack of software and hardware used to create immersive and augmented experiences. This includes the Microsoft Hololens, HTC Vive VR, the Oculus Rift VR, Samsung Gear VR, Intel’s RealSense, and 360 degree cameras.
Faculty and students are already exploring this full range of technologies to understand how they can be pushed beyond the hype and into truly new and novel directions.
Core faculty Ben Hooker and Phil van Allen are working with alumna Jenny Rodenhouse to develop both graduate and undergraduate studios on Immersive Media. Jenny is leading these overlapping courses, which will feature guest speakers and critics from the leading edges of this emerging field. The four-week intensive graduate MDP course will explore the boundaries and questions of the medium. The undergraduate IXD course will apply the critical insights, developing transdisciplinary team projects over fourteen weeks.
To cap off this exploration, MDP in collaboration with the undergraduate Interaction Design department, will host a symposium at the end of the Spring term. This will showcase the student work, and dig into the range of design questions and opportunities discovered. Later in the year, MDP faculty will publish the student projects and their reflections, opening the work up for discussion with the broader educational and design community.
As another part of this immersive media exploration, a project and a few students from the MDP class will be selected to participate in the Microsoft Design Expo, which has the theme of Mixed Reality this year. This will be the fourth year the MDP has participated in the competition.
Phil van Allen is an interaction design consultant, researcher, technologist and educator whose work ranges from the practical to the speculative. He is a core faculty member and Professor in the Media Design Practices MFA program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. In his research, Phil is developing animistic design as a new approach to AI that builds productive ecosystems for creative work. He is the creator of NTK (netlabtoolkit.org), an open source toolkit that makes designing and building working IoT projects simpler and faster. Phil also writes about interaction design and is a consultant for industry with clients such as Razorfish, Acura, USC, GPJ, yU+co, Yoko Ono, The Germs, and U2. In the past, he’s been a recording engineer, software developer, entrepreneur, and researcher. BA, Experimental Psychology/Cognitive Science, University of California, Santa Cruz. http://philvanallen.com