Four Way Oil Slick
Four Way Oil Slick is a study of how we can design for Virtual Reality beyond just a visual experience, and how designed artifacts can communicate what a VR experience is like in the physical world. In this project, objects from the physical world -- a jacuzzi, some sand, and my bedroom -- were scanned using a process called photogrammetry, and brought into a VR environment using Unity 3D. The resulting environment felt otherworldly, so in order to amplify this feeling I designed installation props and a wearable device to heighten this experience.
The iridescent "oil slicks" on the ground correspond with the piles of sand that a user can see in the VR environment, adding a sense of touch to the otherwise predominantly visual experience. The wearable devices the user's feet are made with materials (such as bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts) which make sounds as the user moves, and in addition these sounds are amplified using contact microphones. By bringing the sense of touch into this otherwise predominantly visual medium, and by intensifying this sense of touch using sound, this VR environment becomes an interesting space to explore. As a UX designer, I believe it is crucial to consider more than just visual experiences when designing for the digital world as people today are inundated with visual stimuli, so incorporating other senses into design can create a more memorable experience.