Design Final Projects

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  • SPORTS TECHNOLOGY
    (05-2022) Nunes, Molly; Kermit Bailey
    Roughly 30 million young athletes participate in competitive sports each year in the United States. Unfortunately, sports-related injuries will impact approximately 90% of those athletes (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2019). In addition, the recovery process varies due to the ever-changing factors of each athlete and their unique anatomical attributes. Therefore, there is an opportunity to improve the recovery process and provide customizable elements to the athlete with emerging technology. This investigation explores how the design of mixed reality experiences can assist injured athletes through their recovery process through mixed reality feedback on physical attributes of their injury and customized information.
  • Brand New Skin
    (05-2022) Barrett, Lucia; Tania Allen; Derek Ham
    The duality between otherness and monstrosity forms the backbone of Brand New Skin, a conceptual computer role-playing game, or CRPG, centered on the experience of being a monster— a vampire. In its current form, this project is the beginning of a production bible for what will one day be a completed game. Vampires traditionally stand as symbols of power. Brand New Skin upends this trope— vampires are rewritten as symbols of intimacy; the game revolves around the process of engaging with humans and negotiating consent to feed, likening the act to real-world sexual encounters. It will follow the player’s journey of self discovery as they learn to navigate the monstrous nuances of a parallel society as a newly-turned vampire- a fledgling- named Marin, trapped within the confines of a sleepy seaside city shackled by superstition. Gothic conventions are dissected, scrutinized, presented to the player in the form of questions: internal monologues, character interactions, poking and prodding at the game’s environment. The player takes the reins to construct meaning, to understand, to forge an intimate, monstrous identity.
  • ENIGMA
    (5-2022) Daniels, izzy; Dr. J. Mark Scearce; Dr. Mark Hursty; Tori Ralston; Marc Russo
    Losing sight of one's own identity has become increasingly prevalent in today's society between the emergence of the digital age, the isolation of living through a pandemic, and the loss of ‘self’ one often feels while going through a profound life change. The pursuit of self-knowledge and authenticity have long been linked through the philosophical works of countless great minds. Influenced by the works of Sartre, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Descartes, ENIGMA is an interactive stop motion experience that not only begs the audience to recognize their own authentic selves, but also builds a community of users who are going through the same process of self-authentication. In order to achieve this, ENIGMA explores empathy through decision making as the user is led through a gritty world of both craft and glitchy CG imagery. ENIGMA is simultaneously about the process of finding one's own authenticity and building an honest and vulnerable community through that process, in equal importance. Through the story told within ENIGMA and the decisions the users make in regard to their treatment of the world, empathy is encouraged as a tool for understanding both oneself and the world at large.
  • Combating Conspiracy
    (05-2022) Granholm, lydia; Justin Johnson; Kate Greder; Marc Russo
    While nothing new, conspiracy theories are shaping our world in dangerous and increasingly apparent ways. From Covid denialists to violent antisemites, conspiracy theorists are killing people by spreading and acting upon misinformation. The goal of this project is to develop in players an understanding of what makes a credible source of information and how to think critically about what they see online and in the news. Combating Conspiracy is a serious game that will achieve this by teaching a mindset that prevents people from falling into conspiracy theories, by gamifying the curriculums of English and Theory of Knowledge classes. The supporting research for this project is based in how games can be used in education, how games reach a diverse audience, and the evaluation of sources of information. The resulting game is one that can be played in a traditional high school classroom setting to engage students in the material and facilitate further classroom discussion.
  • Louder Than Words
    (05-2022) Lambert, Chris; Patrick FitzGerald; Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel; Dr. Derek Ham,
    It seems that virtual reality (VR) is starting to make its way into the mainstream of pop culture now more than ever. Continuously working in efforts to create real life simulations as well as never before imagined possibilities; VR has created new and exciting ways to interact with our fellow humans as well as our Non-Player Characters or NPCs. “Actions speak louder than words'' ... a wise saying... perceptions are established within fractions of seconds when meeting, regardless of verbal communication. Social Psychology plays a large role when discussing body language and greeting gestures. Social psychology uses scientific methods, “to understand and explain how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of human beings.” It is about understanding how social environments have an impact on a person’s individual behavior. Thus, greeting someone properly goes an immensely long way when trying to create relationships in unknown and new environments. These hand gestures may be subtle but they are key factors to the concept of social immersion creating a sense of believability and acceptance within virtual space. This thesis focuses on hand gestures and their impact within virtual space to increase immersion and establish social connections while performing human to NPC interactions. Looking at the comparisons between real life actions and actions that can be performed within virtual space, many greeting gestures have been overlooked or uninvestigated. This is where Louder Than Words steps in, to build a bridge between real life actions and virtual interactions, exploring uninvestigated greeting gestures within virtual reality towards making a culturally authentic experience when greeting an NPC.
  • Reorganizing Narratives: increasing accessibility to comic book literature
    (2021) Campbell-Barner, Alec; Marc Russo; Tania Allen; Patrick Fitzgerald
    CAMPBELL-BARNER, ALEC, Reorganizing Narratives: Increasing Accessibility To Comic Book Literature. (Under the direction of Professor Marc Russo). Within the medium of sequential art there are numerous unique categories, genres, formats, and styles. One of the oldest formats within the medium is traditional serialized comic books. These periodical magazines have been in circulation since the late 1930’s. My research outlines the artistic, literary, and historical value within the medium of comic books to highlight the significance of my thesis project. Over time the reading format for the medium of periodical comic books has evolved extensively and created a unique type of reader. Now, as the medium charges into a competitive and digitized future, evolving the reading format will become a necessity. My thesis argument proposes ideas on how the reading format of comic books can or should evolve to better support readers and researchers. My thesis argument proposes that the current reading format of comic books lacks accessibility and legibility and a digital resource for better understanding the medium is needed. The conceptual design that I have created could work as a digital literary resource to support readers, researchers, and educators with engaging with the medium. I discuss ways to enhance the reading format by designing digital contextual reading guides. This project design is a proof of concept and is influenced by numerous precedents. This thesis involves the investigation and creation of a platform design intended to improve the overall accessibility of the comic book reading format.
  • Centennial feminist Tarot
    (2020) Caddick, Lauren; Tania Allen; Todd Berreth; Kathleen Rieder
    How might a reimagined tarot experience connect feminist movements of the past and present in a way that supports and inspires future generations? The Centennial Feminist Tarot illuminates the parallel histories of the United States women’s suffrage movement and modern feminism in order to help Millennial women understand their place in the context of American history. The creation of this reimagined deck includes a new “Major Arcana”, a spread unique to the deck, biographical information, and interpretations for each card. Stereoscopic digital collages serve as trigger images for an augmented reality application that will allow users to navigate the historical and symbolic meanings of the commemorative cards.
  • Mediated Communities: A Case Study on the Relationship between User Interfaces and Online Communities
    (2021) Bulous, Najla; JMark Scearce; Traci Rider; Derek Ham; Jedidiah Gant
    Creatives face a unique challenge in using social media platforms to find online communities that facilitate learning, critique, and the sharing of work. “Mediated Communities” aims to better understand the relationship between user interfaces and online communities of practice through secondary research and a qualitative case study on the ‘Blender Discord’ group on the social media platform Discord. Members of the ‘Blender Discord’ server were surveyed and the resulting data analyzed. Since social media platforms have different user interfaces, a better understanding of how user interfaces use social affordances to influence online communities can help creatives pick platforms that are better suited to their needs. In addition, “Mediated Communities” details the author’s process and reflections on designing a case study around an anonymous online community of practice. This work shows that studying online communities in conjunction with their host platform(s) is valuable and can lead to new insights. It was developed and conducted as a part of the Masters in Art + Design program at NC State.
  • Multisensory Noticing as a Pedestrian Navigation Model
    (05-2022) McGalliard, Emily; Scott Townsend; Denise Gonzales Crisp; Deborah Littlejohn,
    Walking as a means of transportation is credited with improving health, climate, and personal awareness of space. Cognitive capacity to navigate independently without GPS support has decreased over time, which has increased technological reliance and decreased spatial awareness. For new urban residents, walking can be one of the best ways to acquaint themselves with their new city. By slowing down and taking time to notice, users can develop deeper, more conscious cognitive maps of space. This investigation explores how new urban residents can implement multisensory noticing while walking in order to decrease technological dependence and bring awareness to space around them.
  • Anxiety-Coping Strategies and their Place in Game-Based Learning: An Exploration into How the Integration of Stress-Reducing Strategies into a Serious Game Can Offer Children a Learning Environment that is Both Encouraging and Effective
    (05-05-2021) Hennes, Isabel; Marc Russo; John Nietfeld; JMark Scearce
    Every human experiences stress in some form or another, and in the right amount it can act as an excellent motivator. It is only when a person experiences so much anxiety that it negatively impacts his or her ability to function in everyday life that it is truly considered a disorder. Anxiety is the body’s fight or flight response to perceived danger and—when treated appropriately through various therapies and from a young enough age—those who suffer from anxiety can learn to cope and overcome his or her disorder. Unfortunately, many children who develop anxiety, whether due to a learning deficit or a variety of other factors, take that anxiety into adulthood if untreated. By identifying whether or not a child is struggling in school due to symptoms of anxiety, parents and teachers have the opportunity to teach and encourage healthy coping strategies that can enable the child to appropriately react when experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress and worry. By addressing such symptoms early on, parents and teachers have the ability to recognize unhealthy behaviors and seek professional help if they fear their child is struggling. The intended purpose of this project is first, to understand what ways can the integration of anxiety coping tools and strategies into a game-based learning environment help normalize and alleviate assessment-induced stress; and secondly, how can such a system bring attention to parents and teachers of children who might be struggling in school? This project is not meant to diagnose anyone with learning or anxiety disorders, or provide long term therapy, but rather give students, no matter their condition, an opportunity to learn how to react to stressful situations with healthy behaviors.
  • The Social Design Toolkit
    (2021) Pinkston, Russel P.; Traci Rider; Lesley-Ann Noel; Christian Doll; Tania Allen
    Designers are instigators of change, and the decisions they make can impact people’s lives in unexpected ways. The ideology behind social design is that designers have a social responsibility to create positive change by prioritizing people in their decisions. However, the commercialization of design practice often puts several degrees of separation between the people who design products, the people who make them, and the people who consume them, leading to design which elevates the designer’s process above people’s needs. There are several human-centered methodologies in existence across a range of disciplines (from cultural anthropology to design thinking), but these usually operate independently of one another, and each has its own unique constraints. The Social Design Toolkit offers a hybrid workflow called participatory design thinking that provides opportunities for these methodologies to overlap, placing human experience at the core of every design decision. Herbert Simon defines design as “courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” (Simon 111), and social design is a holistic way of embracing cultural difference and reducing the social gap between the creators of culture and those who experience that culture. It is through this that we make design accessible and strengthen its output for everyone.
  • TouchTap
    (18-08-2020) Van de Zande, Tyson; Tania Allen; Adam Rogers; Todd Berreth; Kathleen Rieder
    TouchTap proposes an interaction model and fabrication mindset for an accessible and low-cost computer interface. The interaction model is transferable to a range of situations, and it may be built using DIY processes or professional fabrication techniques. This thesis focuses on applying the interaction model to a wearable–a bag strap– within the context of bicycling. The interaction model starts as a basic navigation, forward, backward, and selection. The model balances simplicity, intuition, and freedom of control. The contributions of TouchTap can be split into three sections: an interaction design model, a scenario, and a prototype. The first contribution is an interaction design model that can be applied to wearables. The interaction model allows a user to control basic navigation features on their phone or computer by Tapping, Holding & Swiping. The second contribution, the scenario, is an application of the interaction design model to biking. The third contribution of this thesis is a prototype that demonstrates a sustainable mindset for material implementation for the interaction model, within context of the scenario. This thesis implements frameworks from Activity Theory (AT), combined with Human Centered Design (HCD), and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The process of this thesis starts with research and a re-framing of Activity Theory. HCD and HCI frameworks, tools, and methods tie into the AT tools to create a cohesive, ergonomic, and designed transferable interaction model. The goal of this thesis is to propose the beginning of a widely-accessible interaction model for designers, artists, and the community.
  • Virtual Presence: Supporting Collaboration
    (05-2022) Pryor, Eric; Tasheka Arceneaux Sutton; Deborah Littlejohn; Scott Townsend,
    We are in a new age of simple and accessible tools for remote collaboration, but XR applications that enable collaboration are sorely lacking in their implementation of social presence features. Better social representations are needed to make remote collaboration in XR applications feel more natural. This investigation explores visualizations of social presence that break the typical convention of full-body, stylized avatars. The potential of gestural control, and the effects it has on the social aspects of remote collaboration is also explored.
  • THE CHANGE WE SEEK: Creative History as Social Justice
    (05-10-2021) Bailey, Darrien D.; Dr. Derek Ham; Dr. Blair L.M. Kelley; Marc Russo
    In what ways could digital tools enhance the historical material of oral history to inspire public engagement and deepen understanding of the complexity of systemic racism in America? The Change We Seek is a project that intends to promote social change through reimagining how oral history can be used and presented to better inform collegiate and high school students on complex issues of race in American society. Through utilizing the educational value of sharing narratives from people of color (POC), and animation, this project is an all-out effort to redefine how oral history has the potential to provoke a realization within the American public of its sizeable racial disparity. The research included in this paper also documents significant historical and theoretical research that shapes the content produced for The Change We Seek. This research charts numerous instances of how the foundations which shape American society, most specifically education, have significantly affected the lives of black people forcing readers and viewers of content produced from The Change Week Seek to understand the gravity of America’s racial divide.
  • Experiential Noticing
    (05-2022) Oweida, Philip; Kermit Bailey; Matthew Peterson; Jarrett Fuller
    Environmental literacy and humans’ declining exposure to the natural environment have become cause for concern as citizens are increasingly relied upon to make decisions about the complex and interrelated nature of environmental issues facing the world today (Coyle, 2005). As a result, sustainability initiatives more frequently depend on education strategies that encourage citizens to participate in the learning experience and promote pro-environmental attitudes and behavior (Lewis, 2019). This investigation considers how a multimodal sensing network can leverage Experiential Noticing as an environmental education strategy for citizens to connect with nature and improve their environmental knowledge, attitude, and intention to act.
  • THINKING STATISTICALLY
    (05-2022) Burnham, Lauren; Matthew Peterson; Deborah Littlejohn; Denise Gonzales Crisp
    Statistical literacy, or the ability to understand and interpret data, has become increasingly important to navigating our data-driven society. While many efforts have focused on improving formal learning experiences in statistics, research points towards informal learning outside of the classroom as a crucial component of the general public’s understanding of science and mathematics. This situation presents a rich opportunity to enhance statistical learning for young students through the design of compelling informal learning experiences. Drawing from the framework for statistics and data science education from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this investigation explores the ways in which a mixed reality museum experience can engage middle school-age learners with the stages of the statistical problem-solving process. The resulting studies consider how the affordances of this environment, such as movement, immersion, and learner-driven experimentation, could encourage statistical question-asking and offer supplements to traditional learning approaches. Experiences which lay a foundation of curiosity towards statistical problem solving hold the potential for enriching the learning process for students beginning to engage with the subject.
  • Other as Spectacle: Women, Queerness, and the Male Gaze
    (05-2020) Fisher, Sara; Todd Berreth; Pat Fitzgerald; Tania Allen
    This project, Other as Spectacle, aims to create an interactive installation that explores what it is like to be othered by the male gaze, and through the experience establish a new understanding in the viewer the harm the male gaze has on women and queer individuals. The theme of the work surrounds the concept of a masquerade—the user steps in front of an interactive projection and finds themselves in the role of the ‘outsider.’ The viewer will face their own reflection in a mirror, and witness as their image is distorted—their reflection on the screen slowly morphing into the figure of a monster as the characters on the screen gawk at them.
  • The Social Design Toolkit
    (2021) Pinkston, Russell Paul; Tania Allen; Christian Doll; Lesley-Ann Noel; Traci Rider
    Designers are instigators of change, and the decisions they make can impact people’s lives in unexpected ways. The ideology behind social design is that designers have a social responsibility to create positive change by prioritizing people in their decisions. However, the commercialization of design practice often puts several degrees of separation between the people who design products, the people who make them, and the people who consume them, leading to design which elevates the designer’s process above people’s needs. There are several human-centered methodologies in existence across a range of disciplines (from cultural anthropology to design thinking), but these usually operate independently of one another, and each has its own unique constraints. The Social Design Toolkit offers a hybrid workflow called participatory design thinking that provides opportunities for these methodologies to overlap, placing human experience at the core of every design decision. Herbert Simon defines design as “courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” (Simon 111), and social design is a holistic way of embracing cultural difference and reducing the social gap between the creators of culture and those who experience that culture. It is through this that we make design accessible and strengthen its output for everyone.
  • Mediated Communities : A Case Study on the Relationship between User Interfaces and Online Communities
    (2021) Bulous, Najla; JMark Scearce; Traci Rider; Derek Ham; Jedidiah Gant
    Creatives face a unique challenge in using social media platforms to find online communities that facilitate learning, critique, and the sharing of work. “Mediated Communities” aims to better understand the relationship between user interfaces and online communities of practice through secondary research and a qualitative case study on the ‘Blender Discord’ group on the social media platform Discord. Members of the ‘Blender Discord’ server were surveyed and the resulting data analyzed. Since social media platforms have different user interfaces, a better understanding of how user interfaces use social affordances to influence online communities can help creatives pick platforms that are better suited to their needs. In addition, “Mediated Communities” details the author’s process and reflections on designing a case study around an anonymous online community of practice. This work shows that studying online communities in conjunction with their host platform(s) is valuable and can lead to new insights. It was developed and conducted as a part of the Masters in Art + Design program at NC State.
  • In Their Eyes
    (2021) Fang, Chutong; Justin Johnson; Tania Allen; Chandra Cox
    Light pollution dramatically disrupts the natural day-light pattern and threatens wildlife’s survival. By creating an immersive and empathetic VR experience, In Their Eyes aims to provide people an empirical and more immediate experience of the negative impacts of light pollution in the animals’ eyes. Players will experience sea turtles’ sea-finding behavior by playing the role of a hatchling trying to find the sea under the effect of light pollution. Players will also be educated on how they can help in daily life. This project will provide a deeper awareness and understanding of the problem, thereby causing people to care more about the issue through this experience with the hope that resultant steps might be taken to prevent this damage from further continuing.