hello thesis

so hi there, this is our first class together. according to Nancy’s e-mail, today i’m supposed to present my project highlights aka portfolio and my *brilliant* (ha-ha) thesis idea, and how everything connects to each other.

my background or a very linear career path: from international relations to design and code

i think maybe the first relevant thing that connects with my idea (and some part of the dada/punk aesthetics that I always bring in what i do) is that since high school i always liked to make collages.

the second relevant thing is that in my BA i studied both art history (minor) and international relations (major), for a history of occidental culture I class, i read the book “From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life”. and in some part of this book along the 16th/17th century, Barzun, the author, dedicates i guess a bunch of a chapter in talking about the role of the printing press in the protestant reformation.

i’m not sure why i remember it so well, but somehow it made my brain clicked and related the press revolution to the digital revolution i was living in the current moment. it was probably 2011 and we were (or at least i was) way more optimist about the path of the democratizing impacts that this could lead to. and i decided that i wanted to be part of this and if i was going to work with something, it was going to be in digital.

so for my thesis on my international relations ba i did a social media analysis of the conflict of Nov 2012 between Gaza and Israel, and that was the fist time in history where instead of holding a press conference to declare the start of the offensives, the IDF account and the Alqassambrigade used Twitter to do so. So I guess this is my first portfolio project.

as i graduated i started working in business in business in tech, in startups, big players but in a sales centered not creative position. i didn’t have a “formal” work or portfolio as a designer even though visual reference and language has always kind of been natural to me. so i decided to quit and with friends start a social media content production ‘start-up’.

and then i started to actually learn design programs, such as Adobe tools. Still I wanted to create interactive things, digital. And that was when I started to learn how to code, found ITP and applied for the program.

the ITP era or the moment that I guess I can actually call myself an experience designer or creative tech or whatever that means

when i started the program i couldn’t be more excited. i was actually going to be able to study what i felt excited about: theory and practice of human computer interaction.

below this was my pcomp midterm. A photojukebox – project created with Jenna Xu and that strangely relates a lot with the thesis idea i will show soon.

and this was mt pcomp/icm final, created with Nicolas Escarpentier.

and in the end of the semester, after having a bit of intro with AR and Unity, i got really excited about the possibilities that AR could create for new interactions and how this medium could leverage specific types of storytelling, mainly when you think about geolocation.

together with Hadar Ben Tzur, we developed a complete AR storytelling experience about 1968 in the village area, more specific in Washington square park, as a prototype to the History Channel fellowship.

from this project grew the opportunity to develop a similar experience with Pioneer Works and the Arab Art & Education Initiative (AAEI) to recreate a walking tour on what between the 1890’s and 1940’s was the main area of Arab immigrants in New York and where today is the Financial District. I am currently working on it.

last semester I researched more on interventions to question users on the interactions we have with technology in our daily lives and the lack of transparency in the platforms we use that creates this myth of the cloud, exploring more the use of voice interfaces.

meanwhile i have been doing some projects on for brands, for ITP, with a lot of UX and some bit of frontend.

the thesis project(?): AR PHOTO GALLERY

so from my experience i guess we can see that.

  • I like to play with visual design, photography and imagery.
  • I like to have final products.
  • I like to create digital interfaces.
  • I like to understand human computer interaction.
  • I like to explore how different mediums can shape our personal behavior and therefore influence society/history/future.

having that in mind, my idea is very straightforward in a sense and exploratory in another.

Straightfoward: I want to create a mobile app where we can export our Photo Gallery and experience it in AR.

Exploratory: how does our experience of interacting with a physical photograph changes when we go from touching ,smelling, feeling a photograph/photo album/framed portrait to scrolling photograph images in a 2d screen. How is this bridge between the object of a photograph and an image of it. Can AR be a middleground in this space? Is the experience of an AR gallery in someways better than a scrollable 2d screen? Once (or maybe IF?) this 3d medium becomes more popularized and available (through contact lenses, brain chips or the new google glass – who knows) how is that gonna change the way we interact with content?

Main reference: David bowie AR exhibition