Discourse Grad Design Studio 1

Curiocity – A new dimension to city exploration

Understanding the project

This interactive AR solution was presented as a discourse to various readings undertaken during the term. ‘Curiocity’ takes a stab at adding a new dimension to the iconic area/street banners across the city of Vancouver by creating use cases for the present and the future with the help of technology fueled by human curiosity.

Experience mockup

Discourse – Reciprocating the readings by doing

We’ve seen these iconic banners around us, haven’t we? They’re around several areas and streets.
When you take a closer look at them, you notice and appreciate the designs. It was one of many fascinating things I noticed, thanks to a friend for shedding light on it.

Banners and inspiration mood board

They add a sense of richness to the area and aim to make them more recognizable…but there’s not much to them.

“From designers we ask for a designed world that has meaning beyond the resolution of purely functional needs, one that also has poetry, communicates subtly, something that makes sense, not just but fitting in with the culture and environment in which it lives, but by adding a new dimension to it.”

Jane Fulton Suri (2011). Chapter 1 – Poetic Observations. In Design anthropology object culture in the 21st Century

Make design ‘newly visible’

This venture of mine was a deeper look into the purpose and personality of the banners. Bring out a new way to look at them, and add that dimension and value to them. They already create a visual identity for the areas – I want to make them newly visible – as Sara Hendren (What can a body do?) mentioned in another one of our readings.

Asking the right question – What if…?
  • These banners could come alive & add more life to the area/streets
  • These banners could help us explore what’s going on in this area
  • These banners could point us towards all these interesting things around
Banner conceptualization
Bringing the idea to life

With the help of AR, which now sits in our pockets, this can be made possible by simply scanning those banners around us. To take this initiative, I went ahead and created a new one, for our very own Great Northern Way.

Potential banner variations
Mockup experience

Use cases / Vision

  • Storytelling – Using shapes and characters in 3D to tell a tale that you’ve never heard before
  • Events – Registering for events, a new way to explore happening places
  • Immersion – Smart glasses to trigger a seamless experience without bounds and tracking constraints
  • Provision – Test further to record sufficient data for a proposal to Vancouver City Services

Technical specification – Fantastic tools & how to avoid their chaos

Studying the history of these banners, how people perceive them, technical standards for these banners, etc. Then designing them, I started with my sketchbook to brainstorm the basic structure shape and form.

  • Illustrator or any graphics tool – Conceptualize & design the banner
  • Blender or any 3D tool – Expand the banner into 3D for more possibilities
  • Adobe Aero / Unity Vuforia / Unreal Engine – Spatial mapping and AR interactivity
  • Adobe XD – Quick 3D transform mockups

Tying it all together

As my personal motive, I always strive to make things a little less boring and a little more sensible. The readings I quoted could not say that any louder. Questioning the normalized designs around us with what if…trying to envision the speculative while designing today. Adding a new layer to these creations that may either already be functional or maybe even poetic.

With Curocity, not one but multiple lessons were put to action and all it took was a bit of curiosity and poetic observation of this city we live in.

Capturing the project at a glance – Annotated Portfolio

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