• Across the threshold: a somaesthetic approach to the design of extended realities

      Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester
      The prospect that extended realities (XR) will become a seamless part of our everyday environment comes ever closer with the development of mixed reality headsets. These devices allow a blending of digital objects with the user’s actual spatial environment. The user interacts with the virtual objects and these objects can, in turn, interact with the ‘real-world’ environment. We argue that the design and interpretation of these extended realities requires design thinking that questions the dominant standard model of cognition, which is indebted to Cartesian perspectivism. We suggest that situated and enactive models of cognition furnish a better understanding of how the body, mind and environment are essentially integrated, enabling us to apply such understanding advantageously to the design of these devices and environments.
    • Albertian Perspective and Augmented Reality: Lessons from Panofsky

      Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Glyndwr University, 2017-09-12)
      This paper addresses the ubiquity of Albertian perspective as the dominant paradigm in the production of certain diagrams. Panofsky recognized the cultural specificity of perspective as, “a systematic abstraction from the structure of … psychophysiological space.” He considered it essential to ask with regard to artistic periods, not only whether they have perspective, but also what kind of perspective they have. This paper asks a similar question with regard to the employment of such perspective in augmented reality technologies. In East Asian culture an alternative use of floating perspectives has developed, this is recognised by cultural psychologists as indicative of the different sensitivities to contextual information. Differences in the interpretation of the visual field between Western and East Asian subjects further call into question the universal application of Albertian and Cartesian models in the design of the diagrammatic environment. Augmented reality technologies are now capable of overlaying diagrammatic information directly upon the user’s visual field. Therefore the perspectival conventions of three-dimensional visualisation techniques might potentially come to reinforce Cartesian principles, and thereby be regarded as the unjustifiable imposition of a culturally specific worldview. This paper addresses the psychological, philosophical and indeed cultural ramifications of this phenomenon.
    • Cultural cognitive differences in the spatial design of three-dimensional game environments

      Summers, Alan; University of Chester (Space Syntax Laboratory,The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 2015-07-08)
      Research into cognition has indicated cultural differences between Western and East Asian subjects in the perception of two-dimensional screen based images. East Asian subjects are able to process complex changes in visual information across a screen space better than Western subjects, who deal best with centralised changes. This paper discusses how these cultural cognitive differences transfer to the design and interpretation of three-dimensional virtual space, as represented on a two-dimensional screen. Space syntax measures where used to analyse East Asian and Western game environments. Initial results indicate that there are statistically significant differences between the spatial parameters of the two cultural groups of chosen game environments. The analysis of three-dimensional game space also indicates spatial design differences between original Western game environments and their adapted form for the East Asian games market. These adapted game environments are spatially comparable to game environments from other East Asian games, indicating a considered design approach to the design of three-dimensional environments for a different cultural market. The question of whether cultural influence on the design of each game space is tacit or explicit is also considered. Local spatial characteristics that a designer may visually manipulate, where correlated with global spatial characteristics a designer cannot visually determine. The findings indicate cognitive differences in the design of three-dimensional space are present between the groups of Western and East Asian game environments. Results also indicate that these can be discussed in terms of known cultural cognitive differences in the interpretation of two- dimensional imagery.
    • In Darwin’s Garden

      Summers, Alan; Meigh-Andrews, Christopher; University of Chester; University of Central Lancashire (Glyndwr University, 2017-09)
      The artwork In Darwin’s Garden was exhibited in the exhibition Carbon Meets Silicon II at the Oriel Sycharth Gallery, Wrexham, curated by Dr Susan Liggett. The exhibition was associated to the ITA(17), the 7th International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications, held at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
    • In Darwin’s Garden: an evolutionary exploration of augmented reality in practice

      Summers, Alan; University of Chester
      This chapter discusses the rapid developments in augmented reality and mixed reality technologies, from a practitioner’s perspective of making the augmented reality sculptural work In Darwin’s Garden. From its conception in 2012, to its exhibition at Carbon Meets Silicon II in 2017, the advances in augmented reality technology led to an interplay between the goal of the creators and the technological realisation of that vision. The art, design and technology involved, generated a reactive process that was mired in external influences as the accessibility to augmented reality became commercially valuable and subsequently restricted. This chapter will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand more about the possibilities, technologies and processes involved in realising mixed reality practice and about the commercial culture that supports it.
    • Spatial Design for Multicultural Online Game Environments

      Summers, Alan; Bellaby, Gareth; University of Chester, University of Central Lancashire (Shibaura Institute of Technology, 2013-08)
      Current gaming technologies enable players from different cultures to communicate and participate in gameplay within a single game environment. A player from one culture may now inhabit a three-dimensional game environment developed by designers from a different culture. These game environments bypass geographic and cultural boundaries and question differences in Eastern and Western gameplay preferences recognized by the games industry. This paper discusses the effect of cultural knowledge on the spatial design of three-dimensional game environments. A new methodology for the comparative analysis of the design of three-dimensional game environments is established considering cultural models as applied to design thinking. Based on spatial analysis it offers game designers and researchers metrics correlated to human way-finding in the real world that are directly relevant to the forms of game play in these environments. The initial analysis of internationally popular, and culturally specific, game environments indicate areas where cultural differences may be considered through spatial considerations within a design methodology. Recognized cognitive differences between Eastern and Western cultures and the interpretation of the two dimensional visual field are considered within findings that determine the use of spatial metrics is a methodology that can be used by design researchers and game designers as a tool set within the design cycle of online multicultural three-dimensional game environments.