The mission of the XReality Center is to collaborate with faculty and students across the university and beyond in advancing the use of immersive media for teaching, learning and research. We offer workshops, open hours, individual consultations and social events. We work with faculty on developing and integrating immersive and emerging technology into the curriculum. Each semester our Director, Maya Georgieva visits and delivers guest lectures to a number of courses across the university. Here is the list of courses Maya visited and spoke at in fall 2020.
PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN
VISUAL COMMUNICATION LAB 2 taught by John Davidson and part of the Fashion Marketing and Communication program. This course explores the various spaces – physical and digital – where visual messages and narratives are encountered. Students are introduced to digital technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in order to consider how these technologies can be used in new and innovative ways within fashion marketing and communication. As part of her lecture Maya shared with the students examples of Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences across the fashion industry, from virtual runways, to retail and marketing campaigns students learn about the opportunity to engage industry and customers across schools.
FASHION CULTURES taught by Beth Dincuff in the School of Fashion, the course is an intellectual studio which complements integrated design practice and offers students the opportunity to explore and define their creative and aesthetic vision through engagement with the narrative of history and a wealth of NYC resources. We collaborated with Beth and Maya led a mini-workshop in which students learn about virtual social spaces and exhibited their final projects in a Virtual Gallery.
THESIS PREPARATION: LECTURE LD taught by Revecca Mintz and part of the Lighting Design Program. This course is a research based preparatory seminar in the final fall term that precedes the spring Thesis Studio. Students work closely with faculty to define and examine a topic that will subsequently be examined through a design problem in Thesis Studio. In this class Maya introduced the students to opportunities that exists with virtual worlds both in terms of lighting design for both physical and virtual spaces.
INTEGRATED DESIGN taught by Zohar Kfir, Elisabeth Smolarz ,Uchen Zhang
These set of courses taught by three faculty that we have now collaborated over multiple semesters focus on digital media. Students will work with various digital applications including, but not limited to, digital imaging, video and audio and various presentation platforms to represent concepts and processes. May lead two set of workshops on Creating Augmented Reality and 360 Video Experiences.
PRINCIPLES OF INTERIOR DESIGN taught by Michele Gorman part of the Parsons Constructed Environment Programs. This course introduces fundamental principles of interior design composition. We have collaborated with Professor Gorman in the past and this time Maya joined a group of faculty provided feedback to the students projects which re imagined city spaced in the Covid pandemic provided opportunity for gathering, exercise and play. Students used a variety of virtual platforms and tools to share their projects.
Maya Georgieva spoke as part of the GEM Fall Inspiration Series offering an overall XR industry outlook. Students shared examples of projects ideas and received feedback on some of their ideas. As part of this collaboration, we are working on a project creating a virtual gallery as part of the International Women’s Day.
UNIVERSITY LIBERAL ARTS: UNIVERSITY LECTURE PROGRAM
IMMERSIVE STORYTELLING taught by Anezka Sebek and part of the Immersive Storytelling Minor Program. The Immersive Storytelling ULEC explores the history and practice of immersive storytelling in a wide range of domains. It is a gateway course for the Immersive Storytelling Minor. The XReality Center has partnered with Anezka Sebek over multiple courses and projects and we are always excited to collaborate with her and the students in the class who choose to pursue the Immersive Storytelling minor. In the fall, once again our students created amazing virtual worlds and experiences.
NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH: LIBERAL STUDIES
VIRTUAL WORLDS & HUMAN CIVILIZATIONS: ONLINE REALITY taught by Eiko Ikegami this course could not be more timely and at the same provocative. The pandemic of the new coronavirus has quickly accelerated adaptations of online virtual methods of communication in everyday life and in education. What does this development mean for human civilizations? This seminar questions conventional understandings of “the virtual and real” through examinations of materials derived from philosophical, literary, and artistic classics as well as from digital-online perspectives. Maya took students on a virtual tour in a number or our own virtual worlds, discuss avatars, AI and the impact of technology on the human civilization.
SCHOOLS OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
INTERACTION DESIGN taught by Diane Mitchell part of the Media Studies Program. Interaction Design is the art of effectively creating delightful and compelling experiences between people and the products and services that they use. New modes of interactions have already reinvented age-old practices, such as socializing, storytelling and wayfinding. The students in this course toured our virtual spaces and learn of new applications and ways to build them and explore new interfaces.
EUGENE LANG COLLEGE LIBERAL ARTS
TRANSMEDIA SKILLS & CRAFT taught by Lori Grinker part of the Journalism and Design Program. In this project-based course, students will reinterpret the role of the visual journalist in the transmedia era. The class will interpret the theme ” personal political” and blur boundaries across disciplines to develop a layered practice that allows for deeper communication and understanding of a documentary subject. We loved hosting these students in the lab over the last few semesters but this year Maya delivered the workshop on Immersive Storytelling with 360° Video online. Students learned, viewed and discussed recent 360° Video projects across journalism and advocacy. Students learned about 360 cameras and design principle on how to create projects with them
In a middle of a Covid-19 pandemic we continue to meet with faculty, students, visit classes and inspire new projects. We are excited about the Immersive Learning Innovation Initiative taking place in Spring 2021 and it potential to bring new opportunities to work, learn and create in virtual worlds.