Explorer’s Walk: Designing an AR/VR Hybrid System for Visualizing Ancient Culture
Explorer’s Walk is an Augmented and Virtual Reality hybrid project that allows visitors to view into a past civilization of the Ft. Ancient peoples in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. This project explores and shares the design, methods, choices, and construction of both the Explorer’s Walk VR and Explorer’s Walk AR applications.
Graduate Researcher – MFA Thesis Project
Maria Palazzi, Professor of Design, Department of Design, ACCAD Director
Robert Cook, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology
Scott Swearingen, Assistant Professor of Design, Department of Design, ACCAD
Vita Berezina-Blackburn, ACCAD
Jiaxing Gao, MFA Candidate, Department of Design
Explorer’s Walk uses both Augmented and Virtual Reality to create an interactive and immersive journey that connects a visitor to the past. Immersive technology can provide a way of seeing into the past and interacting with a digital work in a way a visitor cannot in person. The design decisions shared in this project are based around the challenges of creating educational context within the Guard dig site, a location of Ft. Ancient peoples who lived in a village near the Little Miami River. Both archaeological researchers and general public visitors access this active archaeological dig site to learn more about Ft. Ancient culture and to visit the Archaeological Research Institute museum which is home to many Ft. Ancient artifacts.
The research highlights the challenges facing immersive designers today as they strive to create a more vibrant and dynamic experience for the public. Ultimately, the main issues consist of finding a way for visitors to get more involved as a participant.