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VR Projects @ ECAL MID 2020 – Object, Body, Movement and Environment

FRAME Lab – ECAL/Kylan Luginbühl

Created by Kylan Luginbühl, ‘FRAME-Lab’ offers a series of immersive experiences that explores a different way of interacting with a virtual reality environment. The traditional controller is replaced by a physical frame that enables you to explore various worlds and it’s functionalities. This new interface, both tangible and digital, can take the form of a shield, a portal to travel in time and space, or that of a parachute.

The focus of the project was to bring a new tangible controller for VR experiences. Classical controllers (like HTC, Oculus…) are limited by their shape and their digital representation rarely looks the same of what we are really holding in the hands. Instead, the HTC controller here is used as a tracker to place the FRAME in the space.

The FRAME is a simple shape that everybody can easily manipulate and understand its utility. Through the headset, you see the exact same frame you are holding. Each level is a different feature with a specific environments and gameplay. In these worlds, you can use the FRAME as a parachute by holding your hands up, as a marble maze, as a shield to catch balls coming at you and as a portal to travel through new worlds.

The interface is built with 4 wood sticks 25x25x850mm, 7 x 3D printed pieces for the corners, the handles and the tracker fix, 21 x screws, HTC Vive headset and 1 x HTC Vive controller used as a tracker on top of the Frame. The VR experience is made with Unity 2019.3.4. 

This VR toolkit is made for VR enthusiasts and makers to expand their VR experiences. Through an online platform, they can download the 3D prints and Unity project to create the FRAME and test it at home.

Project Page

Strike the pose – ECAL/Maya Bellier

Created by Maya Bellier, ‘Strike the Pose’ is an exploration of VR in a public space. Foremost, the project is intended as a participatory VR experience. It is an a reinterpretation of Oskar Schlemmer Triadic Ballet from 1922. Maya wanted to echo the intention of the Bauhaus artist of which Oskar Sclemmer was part, to take the spectator out of his/her passivity and in doing so to push the spectator to move with his body. Graphic elements are staged in the custom virtual universe to force the participant to adopt positions.

Scenography takes into account the waiting and the observation to enhance movement. Here the spectator has to follow directions across the room to then take part in the VR.

Software used includes Unity + Javascript using posenet model and hardware is comprised of HTC Vive, a webcam, projectors, speakers and cables.

Project Page

Concrete – ECAL/Léonard Guyot

Created by Léonard Guyot, ‘Concrete’ is an immersive experience that invites users to discover a digital form of architectures through lights and shadows, revealing volumes and geometry of this environment. A tangible interface made of concrete is used and controls elements in these virtual spaces. To access the various structures, user is invited to solve an enigma based on a pattern of light. With ‘Concrete’, Léonard aimed to reflect on how we interact with a digital world using brutalist architecture as an inspiration and a playful experience of virtual reality.

The bloc of concrete that is the interface uses an Arduino MKR Wifi 1010 to send the data from the accelerometer with an OSC signal to the computer. The experience is made with Unreal Engine 4.24 and most of the textures are from Megascan. The VR headset used is an HTC Vive Pro.

Project Page

Lasius Flavus – ECAL/Yael Sidler

This final project by Yael Sidler is an immersive and didactic experience developed in collaboration with the Museum of Zoology. Titled ‘Lasius Flavus’, visitors discover the world of yellow ants, their habitat and perception of the world. This interactive VR project offers an interpretation of these various aspects that lead us to reflect on the relationship that each species have with their environment. Moreover, the exercise of thinking on a scale that is not ours can may help us question our relationship to our own environment.

Project Page

All project ecal.ch + ECAL — Bachelor Media & Interaction Design

Tutors: Alain Bellet, Gael Hugo, Christophe Guignard, Laura Perrenoud, Pauline Saglio
Assistants : Callum Ross, Pierry Jaquillard, Pietro Alberti, Sébastien Matos
ECAL / University of Art and Design, Lausanne Switzerland
Bachelor Media & Interaction Design
Images by Gianni Camporota

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