2017 Design Challenge:
Intentional Design for Positive Cultural Impact in Mixed Reality
Watch the Full video of Design Expo 2017.
Just as we are beginning to understand what it would take to “colonize” Mars — we are also starting to explore, develop and cultivate new “territories” in Mixed and Virtual Realities. What does it mean for our global cultures to exist in this “part physical/part digital” dimension? What is our responsibility in ensuring it is inclusive and works equally well for people with learning and physical disabilities? What unknown business models will we uncover that create new economies and continued innovation? How could this be equally available to all economic classes?
In Neil Postman’s book “Technopoly” he discusses how technologies create the ways in which people perceive reality — and that the culture shift can happen so quickly that sometimes we don’t even realize it. He provides this example: In the 12th and 13th centuries, Benedictine Monks used church bells to communicate the specific times during the day to pray. By the middle of the 14th century, this desire for precision led to the invention of the mechanical clock, then to the concept of efficiency and productivity, and ultimately — Capitalism!
Where might Mixed Reality, which opens a new dimension across space and time, lead us? Might we approach this with intention, mandating ourselves with the goal to create experiences that positively impact people’s perceptions of reality — “physical” or not?
We believe that Mixed Reality is a range of experiences where physical and virtual realities merge and create new environments where people and objects co-exist and interact across space and time. We are embarking on building infinite and alive worlds in Mixed Reality; join us to drive intentional awareness of the cultural impact that our efforts will create.
Design a product, service or solution that demonstrates the value and differentiation of Mixed Reality. Your creation should demonstrate the best qualities of a Mixed Reality experience that takes into consideration the environment, objects and people that will be participating in your solution. It should meet a clear need and be extensible to wider applications. It may be near-term practical or blue sky, but the idea must be innovative, technically feasible and have a realistic chance of adoption if instantiated. Of course, to deliver an optimal experience, much is implied — from data, identity permissions and privacy to avatars and bots (first and third party); your design should minimally show awareness or explore solutions to them.
Participating Schools and Liaisons
ArtCenter College of Design, Graduate Media Design Practices; Los Angeles, USA
Project: Pivot Points
Professors: Philip van Allen, Ben Hooker, Jenny Rodenhouse
Students: Nan Hung Tsai, Nicci Yin
Microsoft Liaisons: Colleen Estrada, Jeremy Cristiano, Kim Pimmel
Carnegie Mellon University, School of Design; Pittsburgh, USA
Professors: Bruce Hanington, Peter Scupelli
Students: Leah (Ling) Jiang, Manya Krishnaswamy, Hannah Rosenfeld, Manjari Sahu
Microsoft Liaisons: Kevin Korpi, Irina Smolyanskaya
MIT, Cambridge; Massachusetts, USA
Professors: Pattie Maes
Students: Pedro Colón, Anna Fusté, Mina Khan, Christian Vázquez
Microsoft Liaison: Becky Haruyama, Moni Wolf
New York University, ITP; New York, USA
Project: Our Future with Books
Professors: Michael Dory
Students: Juan Jose Egusquiza, Daniella Garcia, Alejandro Matamala, Maxwell Kenzo Nakamura, Cristobal Valenzuela
Microsoft Liaison: Oscar Murillo
Royal College of Art; London, UK
Project: Animal Diplomacy Bureau: Birds on the Street & Birds on the Grass
Professors: Robert Phillips, Kevin Walker
Students: Kaylene Kau
Microsoft Liaisons: Mike Golembewski, Helene Steiner
University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts; Los Angeles, USA
Project: Holographic Studio
Professors: Scott Fischer, Todd Richmond
Students: Patrick Bender, Satrio Dewantono, Catherine Griffiths, Keshav Prasad
Microsoft Liaisons: Don Coyner, Greg Melander
University of Washington, Interaction Design Program; Seattle, USA
Project: Mixed Reality CSI
Professor: Axel Roesler
Students: Nick Allred, Dillon Baker, Kylen Dent, Jun Lee Lee, Abe Poultridge, Dwight Stoddard
Microsoft Liaisons: Nathan Auer, March Rogers, Gino Scarpino
Demos and Presentations
Awards and Wrap-up Party