About the research
Mixed-reality experiences merge real and virtual environments in which physical and digital spaces, objects, and actors co-exist and interact in real-time. Collaborative Mix-Reality Environments, or CMRE's, enable creative design- and learning processes through full-body interaction with spatial manifestations of mediated ideas and concepts, as live-puppeteered or automated real-time computer-generated content. It employs large-scale projection mapping techniques, motion-capture, augmented- and virtual reality technologies, and networked real-time 3D environments in various inter-connected configurations.
Multiple research areas now support the idea that embodiment is an underpinning of cognition, suggesting new discovery and learning approaches through full-body engagement with the virtual environment. Furthermore, improvisation and immediate reflection on the experience itself, common creative strategies in artist training and practice, are central when inventing something new. In this research, a new embodied design method, entitled Performative prototyping, has been developed to enable interdisciplinary collective design processes in CMRE’s and offers a vocabulary of multiple perspectives to reflect on its outcomes.
Studies also find that engineering education values creativity in design processes, but often disregards the potential of full-body improvisation in generating and refining ideas. Conversely, artists lack the technical know-how to utilize mixed-reality technologies in their design process. This know-how from multiple disciplines is thus combined and explored in this research, connecting concepts and discourse from human-computer interaction and media- and performance studies.
This research is a collaboration of the University of Twente, Utrecht University, and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. This research is partly financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).