In Summer 2022, I was accepted into Snap Lens Academy, where we were taught Lens Studio, Blender, Photoshop, and After Effects. As a way to demonstrate what we learned, we were split into groups and tasked with developing a Snap lens about racial justice. We wanted our lens to be impactful, and believe that focusing on positive things that come from communities brought together through hardship would be the way to go because it demonstrates how people uplift others and come together. We decided to recreate Seattle’s temporary Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, of June 2020 through AR. We used waypoints as a means of movement through the Snap lens, where users tap floating cubes that pull them in front of specific areas that tell the CHAZ’s story. The areas we emphasized were a discussion spot, where volunteers discussed their next plan of action on couches placed in the street; a garden, where BIPOC people could cultivate and harvest fresh produce; the medic area, where volunteers offered medical help to protestors; the abandoned police station east precinct, as well as various art pieces placed throughout. To view our Final Showcase Presentation, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8eKGrSbkRk
How might we create a Snap lens about racial justice?
Topics that pertain to social issues can be easily taken out of context. Oftentimes, these misconstrued story pieces are used to push specific ideologies, and this was something we wanted to avoid at all costs.
We decided to immortalize Seattle’s temporary Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ for short, of June 2020 through AR. We believe that focusing on positive things that come out of communities when brought together would be the way to go, because it demonstrates how people support and lift each other up when faced with hardship.
The OvARride Guide is an interactive book that allows Meow Wolf visitors to experience the Convergence Station in the comfort of their home. Visitors can explore the lore and hidden features using the augmented reality app, OvAR. Additionally, OvAR contains exclusive Meow Wolf soundtracks and information about the exhibition artists.
In Spring 2022, Meow Wolf and MaCher partnered with SMC IxD for a design challenge. We focused on the Convergence Station in Denver, and were asked to develop an interactive experience that blends the physical and digital world. The goal was to drive audience engagement towards the brand, further extending the storyline and content from the exhibit, driving foot traffic to the exhibits, and increasing sales from the stores.
Meow Wolf exhibits are interactive art experiences, where visitors can explore many fantastical rooms, often following the overall exhibit theme. We found that visitors tend to not realize there is an underlying story to the exhibits due to non-linear storyline and unconventional layouts, creating confusion and disappointment. Typically, visitors are unable to fully explore the full exhibit in one day, further adding to visitor disappointment. Additionally, having only several locations makes it difficult for people to access, especially if they come from out of town.
Our team conceptualized an eye-catching book that looks like a fridge, which matches the client's brand identity, while also meeting the overarching story needs and pain points among the audience. We created an immersive literature experience that serves as memorabilia and an opportunity to learn more about Meow Wolf post-visit.
In Fall 2022, CicLAvia partnered with SMC IxD for a design challenge. Our team was asked to view the project through the eyes of documentation and to come up with strategies that allow CicLAvia to document its growth over time. We attended the “Heart of LA”, October 9th event and South LA, December 4th event to gather qualitative data on how CicLAvia impacts people and communities. We constructed a graffiti wall during the October 9th event to gather insights on how people generally felt and sought out people who lived in South LA during the December 4th event to gather insights on how CicLAvia impacts their community. We learned that CicLAvia strengthens the feeling of connectedness, cleans the streets of communities before events, improves restaurant sales, decreases crime, and makes people feel safe in communities that are generally avoided. We created a video with the most insightful quotes and interviews from both events, as a way for CicLAvia to market how they improve and benefit the communities that host their events. To view our video, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueBN0GEyLl8
The CicLAvia team currently has limited ways to collect demographic data and results. How might we measure design impact, either quantitatively, qualitatively, or both? In addition, event day documentation/storytelling can often be limited.
CicLAvia is a public space where art and culture can be amplified. The success of events can be determined by measuring sense of belonging, happiness levels, and diversity. Data will resonate when shared through stories and lived experiences. Additionally, graffiti art resonates with LA culture. CicLAvia can collect qualitative data on its community through artistic activities and understand what they care about most. Event goers want to promote their local community’s groups.
We devised a graffiti wall for event goers to participate in to get unique stories representing the real CicLAvia, and interviewed neighborhood residents about how CicLAvia improves their communities. We used video footage from both events to create an emotional mini documentary that CicLAvia can use for marketing and outreach purposes.