Shadow Self: A Transpersonal Virtual Reality Spatial Experiment
Mixed Reality Seminar with Jason Anderson
This work was created during the Mixed Reality architectural seminar in Fall 2016 with Professor Jason Anderson as an interactive spatial experiment utilizing VR technology. It was a collaborative effort of 3 architectural students: Victor Lu, Rajah Bose, Ming-Hsuan Kao and 2 Interaction Design students: Nathaniel Smith and Tze-Wei Hsu.
Early on in the creation of this project, we decided to depart from a traditional narrative demonstration, as well as from simply exploring tactical demonstrations of the technology. Our goal in this project was to offer an experience to a user that they might not otherwise have. Based on our research and investigation we decided that simulating a DMT experience would offer us opportunities to explore notions where we had collective interests.
Designed primarily in Unreal Engine, the work is a critical departure from traditional architectural study and design process, giving us creative freedom never experienced before while presenting numerous technical challenges for us to overcome. It is a unique piece of work that demonstrates the future of architectural and interaction design, how these disciplines might overlap and merge.
Projects like this are never done, especially given that for all of us this was our first foray into developing for mixed reality. In the very near future we plan to have this current manifestation output, so that we can share it as a downloadable VR game file that anyone can plug into a device and explore themselves.
The work received phenomenal reception and positive critics during its final presentation, from a panel of professional juries such as members of Buzzfeed Open Lab and IFTF. It is a indulging and other-worldly experience for those who have experienced it with a VR headset. The review raised some interesting discussions such as the potential implication and effect of psychiatric treatment using VR technology, how to build other-worldly VR experience that could be tailored and respond to the patient's psychological condition...It is discussion like this that extends and amplifies the value of our project, helping us to research further and really think deep about the untapped potential of VR design, not just in architecture, but all fields of application.