Welcome Tamara & Theresa

Storylab would like to officially welcome Tamara and Theresa as full time employees! 

As our first graphic designer, Tamara received level I and II certificates in multimedia design and holds a BA in Linguistics. She also has a background in grassroots organizing and sustainable technologies. Tamara believes that a clean yet compelling design can make a message not only attention catching but much easier to digest. Her hobbies and interests include weight lifting, corrective exercise, yoga, nutrition and gardening.

Theresa is our latest addition as our new studio assistant. She holds a degree in Art Studio from the University of New Mexico. Her background is mainly focused around photography, which is also her passion. Her hobbies and interests include photography, cars, traveling, and gardening. 

We are lucky to have these two on our team!

Happy Birthday 1-Million Cups!

Stoylab's Creative Director, John-Mark Collins had the great opportunity to speak at the Albuquerque 1-Million Cups meeting this past month and is quite grateful for the chance to be a part of such an empowering and helpful organization in their 3rd year!

1-Million Cups gives a great number of entrepreneurs in all stages of development a platform to not only showcase their product, but ask for assistance and guidance from the local community.

Storylab made a number of fantastic connections through the event and hopes to engage with the organization much more in the future.  For more 1-Million cups information, visit: http://www.1millioncups.com/albuquerque

You can see John-Mark's presentation here: http://www.1millioncups.com/albuquerque/presentations/storylab-inc-15291

 

The Dinosaur Mural Gets the Spotlight

Storylab’s augmented Dinosaur Mural was recently highlighted in Bioscape, the ABQ BioPark’s magazine for members. The Dinosaur Mural utilizes motion detection and projection to trigger animations and additional content. Among other updates to the Reptile House, Storylab also designed and installed an interactive matching game.  

According to Richard Reams, curator of herpetology, the renovations in the Reptile House speak a more modern language to “create a message of herpetology.” The article mentions that visitors will now find once-dark spaces illuminated by interactive technology, engaging signs and welcoming displays, which Richard hopes will not only spark interest, but “perhaps warm a few hearts to the significance of the world’s cold-blooded residents, animals that are sometimes feared and sometimes misunderstood.” Storylab agrees and hopes that the interactives enhance the visitor experience and create educational and engaging exhibits.

The full details are available in the Summer 2017, Volume 49/02 ABQ BioPark’s Membership magazine, Bioscape.

Current Discourse on Digital Storytelling in Museums

Storylab attended the Museums and the Web annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio (April 19-22, 2017) and the American Alliance of Museums annual meeting in St. Louis, MO (May 7-10, 2017).  

Technology, particularly AR and VR, were at the forefront of the discussion - how will museums use technology to further the visitor experience in the future?

It seems that most museums are grappling with how to bring technology into their spaces. Budgetary constraints as well as fear of making the right choices on how to create something new and exciting for visitors, while maintaining relevancy, are just a few of the stumbling blocks for these institutions. The strongest message at both of these meetings is that it is crucial for museums to incorporate digital technology to stay relevant and to sustain and grow visitorship. What are the current conversations regarding museums and digital technology? When it comes to technology, media and exhibit development it is not surprising that much of the discussion focused on the importance of digital storytelling via augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) amid the overarching themes of immersion, tech disruption and phygital experiences.

Trends in Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality is currently being discussed as a cost-effective means to breathe new life into current exhibits. AR provides an interactive means for visitors to engage with content, while subsequently providing a platform for gaining access to new stories, content and interpretation. The big question for museums is that of hardware--should visitors be asked to use their own device and download an app before or during a visit, or should a museum provide devices for visitors to use while in the space. Or maybe perhaps both. This is not an easy answer and each museum needs to consider its ability to maintain the relevant hardware and software, not to mention how or who will create the systems in the first place.

Trends in Virtual Reality (VR)

The big question-how to make shareable, social VR experiences? After all, museums are public, social spaces and VR inherently provides individualized experiences. Current thinking is to first examine why to incorporate VR and what the main objectives of the exhibit/experience would be. Maybe an individualistic experience as a side to a wider exhibit is ok. Or maybe a museum wants to create a social experience using VR that is in essence gamified. For example, a group is asked to solve a problem. Not everyone wears the goggles, but everyone can see what the goggle wearer sees. The group must work together to solve the problem and the non-goggle wearers are the ones that steer the goggle wearers. It is also possible to create VR experiences where each user could see where other users are. VR experiences can also be social as they are currently devised, as long as visitors have enough time and the space to explore in a safe environment.


Takeaways:

  • Transformative, digital storytelling is key: exhibits should be inclusive and allow for different types of engagement, including passive, active, interactive, immersive. This engagement should allow viewers to share ownership and gain personal relevance as visitors are looking for their own unique experience and don’t all necessarily want the same thing.

  • When developing new exhibits or ways to engage visitors, museums should look to disrupt the expectation of what a museum interaction can be.

  • The common thread through presentations and subsequent discussions is that community, technology, and museums all impact success.

  • It’s all about immersion. Audiences have changed and so have their expectations. Museums should consider creating bespoke experiences that can only be had in their physical spaces. AR and VR are just two ways to create immersive experiences--projection mapping, motion tracking, and other space-based technologies are also available.

  • Phygital experiences are important--thoughtful blending of the physical with the digital will foster memorable visitor experiences, enhance visitor engagement, and cultivate innovative environments that reinforce learning objectives. “Good experience design begins with the physical”- Scott Gillam.

Suggested Reading:

Alexander, Jane, Lori Wienke and Phillip Tiongson. "Removing the barriers of Gallery One: a new approach to integrating art, interpretation, and technology." MW17: MW 2017. Published February 16, 2017. Consulted May 20, 2017. http://mw17.mwconf.org/paper/removing-the-barriers-of-gallery-one-a-new-approach-to-integrating-art-interpretation-and-technology/

Gillam, Scott. "Spotlight VR/AR: Innovation in transformative storytelling." MW17: MW 2017. Published February 28, 2017. Consulted May 19, 2017. http://mw17.mwconf.org/paper/spotlight-vrar-innovation-in-transformative-storytelling/

Pitt, F. (2015). “New Report: Virtual Reality Journalism.” Tow Center for Digital Journalism Blog. Published November 11, 2015. Consulted December 2016. Available http://towcenter.org/new-report-virtual-reality-journalism/

Sierra, Albert, Gabriel de Prado, Isis Ruiz Soler and Ferran Codina. "Virtual reality and archaeological reconstruction: be there, back then." MW17: MW 2017. Published February 14, 2017. Consulted May 20, 2017. http://mw17.mwconf.org/paper/virtual-reality-and-archaeological-reconstruction-be-there-be-back-then-ullastret3d-and-vr-experience-in-htc-vive-and-immersive-room/

 

 

 

Meet our Creative Duo: Jeanette Marsh and Tamara Disque

Jeanette is the principal illustrator at Storylab. She was raised in a small town in the midwest where her creativity and imagination knew no bounds, aided in large part by the vast, endless space, the winding Mississippi River, and the various, magical wooded areas she often explored growing up. After receiving her BFA degree in Video Game Art and Design at the Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg, she moved to New Mexico and soon found work as a designer and illustrator. Jeanette has designed and illustrated applications for HP, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Institute of American Indian Art, the Liberty Science Center, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Air and Space Museum. She has also illustrated maps for a History Channel special, titled The Gates of Hell, and also worked on character concept art for Martoos Studios/a Hollywood producer for a movie called Heaven: The First War. Jeanette enjoys drawing characters for stories she often writes and hopes to one day publish her own book.

Tamara is a graphic designer at Storylab who loves to find solutions for visual challenges. She has received level I and II certificates in multimedia design and holds a BA in Linguistics. She also has a background in grassroots organizing and sustainable technologies. Tamara believes that a clean yet compelling design can make a message not only attention catching but much easier to digest. Her hobbies and interests include weight lifting, corrective exercise, yoga, nutrition and gardening.

Link to Jeanette's Work-

http://arcaneavis.weebly.com/

Links to Tamara’s Work-

http://disquedesigns.wordpress.com/
instagram.com/tamara.sutton/
trsutn.myportfolio.com

Meet Our Newest Team Member: Ben Matthews

Ben is a programmer and artist currently studying computer science at the University of New Mexico. He specializes in creating interactive visual and graphical software that immerses viewers in a unique experience. Ben believes that good piece of artwork, game, or experience draws people in through discovery, and he strives to add an element of exploration to all of his work. Ben's hobbies include gaming, playing piano, hiking, and climbing.

Some links to Ben's work:

Welcome to the team Ben!

The Future of Interactive Architecture

John-Mark Collins, Storylab’s Creative Director, gave a guest lecture on the future of interactive architecture at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning (SAP) on April 11, 2017. SAP is the only professional school in the country that exists within both the state’s flagship institution and is a Carnegie rated Category 1, High Intensive Research, Hispanic and Minority serving public university.

Using the physical structure of a location to tell a story, interactive architecture is the fusion of space, technology, motion and media. By tracking a user’s location through a physical space, contextual information and experiences are created specific to that location.

So what is the future of interactive architecture? Storylab’s mantra and John-Mark’s passion lies in creating immersive and interactive experiences that are tailor-made for particular spaces. Each situation utilizes the most appropriate hardware with custom software solutions, focusing on the visitor’s journey through a space to deliver contextual content and experiential graphics/media. Using a combination of new technologies and timeless interaction and design techniques to build new dynamic spaces, contextual and locational storytelling allows visitors get the information they need as they need it. The future of interactive architecture is that spaces will be personally responsive and dynamic.

Hosted by: Tim Castillo - http://saap.unm.edu/resource-center/sap-people/faculty-profiles/tim-castillo.html

For his design thinking class: http://timc50.wixsite.com/designthinking17