• Jack Chen

Thesis: semester 2 week 1 check in

I decided to switch from the collective Wordpress blog to my personal blog, here is a link to my previous thesis blogs: https://itp.nyu.edu/thesisjournal2022/?author=83

Updates since winter break:

Over the break, I searched for inspiration from a variety of sources, including:

- Exhibits: Artechouse, MoMA, Museum of Natural History

- Films: Samsara, Strange Days, Interstellar (re-watched).

**I also saw the new Matrix movie but was not inspired by it at all**

- Video Games: Space Engine, Outer Wilds

- Talked with some friends about my project

Here are some new thoughts I have about my project after getting inspiration from the sources above:

  • I think the experience should be more abstract and less scientifically specific, focusing on conveying the feeling of transcending time and space rather than a one to one representation of the history and future of humanity/universe (almost spiritual/meditative, even though based partly on science)

  • I want to play with interactive particles in VR

  • Anchor the experience by starting with my own personal experience/scale, then move up to bigger levels until it is from the experience/scale of the entire universe

  • Other than exploring an interesting new perspective, the other goal is to promote unity and understanding between people, that’s why it starts at an individual level and then move up to perspectives where individuality no longer seems make sense (similar to overlook effect)

some visual references:

^ this was from the Artechouse exhibit I went to, there were a lot of moving 3d particles projected onto the space, I think it will be great to have interactive particle effects similar to this in VR

^^ this is from the video game "Space Engine", which simulates the entire universe in real scale and include black holes which players can enter and experience the bending of time and space

^^ this is a screenshot from the documentary "Samsara", which includes a variety of shots which are often wide, juxtaposing different elements of our world and civilizations on a variety of scales

elevator pitch:

A VR (and maybe multisensory) experience which allows the users to experience the universe and humanity from the beginning to the end, how would such a perspective change our view of our existence?

Implementation plan:


I updated the implementation plan I made before winter break with 2 notes specifying my current progress and deadline for creating a script and a list of interactions, which are the 2 tasks I am focusing on for my thesis right now.

Other than my thesis class, I took "Fast Fun: Physical controllers with unity", "Synthetic Architectures", and "Haptics" class this semester, all in an attempt to strengthen the relevant skills I might need to better my thesis project.

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