Author Archives: Shiva Roofigari

V-Art

Team members: Shiva Roofigari, Gizelle Pillay, Macguire Rintoul, Jacky Au

Roles: Material design, interaction design

Overview

“V-Art” is a project that my teammate and I created for the final project of our material design course and it was done within a timeframe of 6 weeks. V-ART is a VR headset for the purpose of art history education. It is intended to be used in the context of an art gallery or museum, where gallery attendees can put on the headset and be taken through an art history experience, learning about different eras and styles. The device might also be purchased by art enthusiasts for home use, or by users who are not physically able to attend art galleries.

 

Process

At the beginning of our project, we had to choose the context and the target audience (demonstrated through an example persona) for our VR headset. We decided that our headset should be used in the context of art galleries or exhibits. The persona we chose was an art history enthusiast who wants to learn about art history through a virtual reality experience, who is looking for an innovative and engaging way to learn about art history.

After finalizing our context and persona, we each sketched potential forms for our VR headset. One of my groupmates introduced us to the art movement of Cubism. This was one of the most drastic art movements in history as it explored open form, the crossing of spaces, two-dimensionality, and angular interconnections. All of these aspects reflected upon the idea of time and space, and artists explored how these separate pieces could also be seen as a cohesive whole. From what we knew about cubism and our more in depth research, we came up with an original art piece. The double faces act as a mask for the person wearing it, and a symbolic representation of the cubism period. The two faces appear separate but can also be viewed as one full face.

We were assigned with two materials for our VR headset: plastic and fabric. We decided that we were going to use ABS plastic for the headset part as it is durable and light for the users. To create the artwork on the front of our headset, we found suitable fabrics and then cut and stitched them to create a cohesive piece. Since this will be the main visual attraction to our headset, we aimed to create an engaging piece in the style of the cubism art movement. The soft fabric was an interesting contrast to the smooth plastic of the frame, and we furthered the cubism metaphor by having the fabric artwork within the ‘frame’ of the front of our headset.

We used styrene for making our first prototype. This is because styrene is easy to work with and can easily be cut and shaped in different  forms and we could easily iterate.

I was responsible for drawing the orthographic views and the exploded view of the headset. I drew these using Adobe Illustrator.  This was very difficult because I had to consider average human anatomical proportions. I used the head measurement table in order to come up with the dimensions of the headset.

 

 

We decided to split the VR headset into two cubes, where the user had to slide their phone between the cubes. This had two reasons: so that 1) the form of our headset was following the cubist style and 2) that different phones could easily fit into out headset. We also designed the cubes so that they could slide into one another and create a more compact cubic form and in order to take less space for storage. For a better understanding, I drew the interactions of our VR headset in Adobe Illustrator.

Results and takeaways

One of my main takeaways from this project was the learning to take into account anatomical proportions. We had to consider the distance between the lens and the user’s eyes and also the length of the strap for different head sizes. Also, we needed to consider how to enable different sizes of phones to fit into the headset. We solved this by using the phone as a component which would hold the two parts of our headset together. Our project went well and we presented our final prototype in a public showcase at SFU.

compact form:

On Your Own

One of my favourite projects that I ever made was called “On Your Own”. I took a course in fall 2016, IAT 202: New Image Design, where we had to make a short film for our last group project. Me and my other three group mates decided to create a short documentary for our project. Our project turned out great and it was approved by the FCAT conference and we showcased it at the conference in February 2017. Here is the logline of our short documentary:

In this inspirational documentary, we follow the life of Maddi, known as Maddi Mcfly Cosplay online, who dreams of turning her hobby into a career in special effects makeup. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, she had to move out at the age of 20, and was unable to afford or have time for school among her many new responsibilities. She details the events of the past year, which prevented her from getting there by traditional means, and how she plans to continue moving forward.

You can watch our documentary by clicking on this link.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do! Please feel free to comment.

Sonic Dimensions

One of the projects that I’m working on is called “Sonic dimensions”. I am making this project with one of my friends for the FCAT conference that is on February 24th. The topic of this year’s conference is “space”, so we have to create a project that is related to space. Since my friend and I are very interested in sound, we decided to make a project to increase people’s consciousness about their surrounding acoustic space. An important characteristic of any space is its acoustic qualities. So many of the information that people receive from their surroundings are perceived through their sense of hearing and the way they are interpreted in their mind. However, in this modern world, there are not many people who are aware and conscious about their acoustic space in urban cities. They mostly isolate themselves by listening to loud music through digital devices, specially headphones, or act as passive listeners of their soundscape rather than being its active participants.

For our installation, we are going to have a projector projecting 4 different videos of different spaces including a church, forest, a busy street, and beach, on a wall. When a participant comes in, they have to step on a stand, put on the headphones and put on the special gloves that we have created for this project. We want the participants to feel that they are the conductors of those spaces in the videos.

The gloves that we have created have flex sensors on them and the participants can change the properties of our videos’ sounds by flexing their fingers. We have these flex sensors on two different figures and by flexing each finger, either the reverb or the volume of the sound would change. We have chosen reverb and volume because these two properties of sound are very important in defining a space. The participant can also try this with all four videos in order to understand that each space has its own unique acoustic and by changing them, the whole space and its atmosphere changes. You can get a sense of our installation by looking at the diagram below. I cannot wait to install this project and to see our participants’ reactions!