During the first design sprint, our team was confronted with two major questions:
How can we start a dialogue between print and digital media ? And how can the values, methods and language of UNStudio can be enhanced with an immersive digital experience ?
At the beginning, we structured our workflow in a circular way: sessions of individual research and a material analysis alongside collective brainstorming sessions which took place throughout the entire phase.
Research <> Material analyses <> Mind Mapping <> Research
With an attempt to create our first concept map, we conducted self-directed research on the existing examples of immersive and hybrid media in both the architectural and non-architectural realm. In this process, all team members brought in examples from personal knowledge and experience, and together we carried out new search based on keywords inside contemporary blogs, online app stores, magazines and literature in the field of art, design and architecture.
We analysed the collected examples by category: navigation, display, data structure, immersive experiences, interactivity and storytelling/digital narratives. Moreover, we looked into existing methods and technologies that can create a link between a mobile app and a printed medium.
To create an overview and keep the track of our findings, we created the following concept maps.
- How can we start a dialogue between a printed matter and a digital book?
To answer this question, we drew a line which categorised examples from the most independent to the most integrated within the content of the book. With ‘independent’ we mainly refer to physical media, which can be easily attached to the printed edition without interrupting its content (e.g. postcard, leaflet, bookmark), while ‘integrated’ media would lead to a more complex solution, including alteration of print design (e.g. image recognition, triggered by graphic elements in the book or augmented reality effect).
- How to create an immersive experience within the digital media?
We classified our ideas into a variety of categories, ones that connect with the possible structure of the future app. We explored possibilities of integrating a podcast interface and a dual index for navigating throughout the app, which could combine a guided storyline with a more linear and direct access to its content. In the end, our team investigated how a high contrast can exist between the print and digital media and how it can be realised through interactivity (sound, motion, hyperlinking), and to conclude, what forms of display can it deploy (layering, multimedia, full screen experience).
Whilst filtering through an immense quantity of examples, we realised that few general points should be achieved in the further process of development. When designing a link between the print and the digital media for UNStudo, we have to make sure that the connection is:
- Time proof
Meanwhile, the user experience should include the elements of a quest, convey a feeling of discovery, stir curiosity with a healthy dose of abstraction and vagueness. Although, the app should also provide an access to more ‘concrete’ and linear experience, in order to create a strong and long-lasting relationship with the user.
- Discovery – Quest
- Abstract vs. Concrete
- Long-lasting relationship
On 16th of September our team held a second meeting with UNStudio, during which we presented the summary of ideas, followed by feedback session and discussion of steps to be taken in further development. The client expressed interest in approaches to user customisation (drag & drop), integration of timeline as navigation tool and overall networked environment, which can bring variety of users and target audiences together.
Caroline Bos, the co-founder and principle urban planner of UNStudio, has kindly given us a lecture on tools and architecture methods applied in the building of Arnhem Station. This lecture can be seen as a core for the upcoming story, which we aim to unfold through a variety of immersive experiences inside the app. Narrowing down the scope of research to more concrete proposals, specifying the target audiences and clarifying a structure of the main story — these are new challenges, awaiting for our team in the following sprint.