Interactive AR installation
The interactive installation enables participants to design individual and critical visions of the future of luxury and subsequently create a space for reflection and discourse in the form of a mixed reality design process.
The installation is an iteration of an ongoing research project within the Design & Computation Master’s program that deals with the question of how emergent technologies can help debate socially relevant issues in a hands-on approach through interaction and visualization.
This work is a virtual shoe model that visitors can modify to their preference. The object of a fashion sneaker is used as a metaphor for consumption in the luxury and hype sectors but is common enough to be relatable to a broad audience at the same time. While the choice of the sneaker does not take itself too seriously and provides an accessible entrance to engaging in designing alternative futures it remains clear throughout the installation that the topic it represents is all but trivial. Thus, the installation oscillates between irony and sincerity to deliver its meaning in a playful way. Ultimately, the work investigates how far alternative narratives of the good life can be realized through a playful, MR-fueled design process.
When participating in the experience the audience finds itself in a fictional setting in which a futuristic organization concerned with the sustainable transformation of mobility called “ORTFRIED” enters the scene and guides the participants through the process of creating their sneaker. The installation follows three steps: First, visitors are encouraged to reflect on the material and production processes behind consumer products through the personal lens of their own footwear. To achieve this, an ORTFRIED employee scans their shoes and gives a low fictional score. In a second step, the installation invites visitors to get to know twelve materials in a future Solarpunk world with the help of augmented reality. Information can be called up audio-visually via the Microsoft HoloLens2 and experienced in a playful way. In the final step of the interactive installation, the materials are fed into a generator and processed into a virtual shoe that in turn becomes visible through the AR device. Following the production process, fictional instructions are sent to participants via email on how to build their future shoes at home.