What? Why? How? So What?

What?

The identification of a ‘hunch’ or tentative research proposition, leading eventually to a defined and viable research question — Gary

After I got my bachelor degree in Digital Arts and Technology, I went to work as a teaching assistant in Roy Ascott’s Technoetic Arts Studio to teach basic knowledge and skills in VR. At the end of the semester, I also helped and supervised the students to set up the VR section in the exhibition called “A Technoetic Multiverse”. During my teaching process, I gained more interests in VR and also found that VR has so many limitations. One of which is that most VR experiences are characterized by individual immersion. The wearer puts the headset on and suddenly disconnected from his or her surroundings, dives into another space. Especially for exhibition purpose, other audiences cannot get involved in that experience. I argue that a good VR experience should not only focus on the HMD wearer but also focus on other audiences. By doing that, I want to find some possible ways to improve the shared awareness in VR experience.

Why?

The need for your research in relation to the wider context, in order to test out the value of your proposition, locate your research position, and explore a range of research strategies — Gary

Firstly, the limitation I just mentioned will cut off the social connections and awareness between the virtual world and physical world, between the HMD wearer and other audiences. As a consequence, people will get bored of VR very easily.

Secondly, VR has been around for more than 30 years and just enter the slope of enlightenment recently. It needs new revolution and innovation by merging with other parallel emerging technologies.

How?

The importance of developing an appropriate methodology and specific methods for gathering and generating information relevant to your research question, and evaluating, analysing and interpreting research evidence. — Gary

The methodologies I intend to use for my thesis is Research Through Design and Agile Design. I will make different versions of prototypes in an iterated process to help to improve the shared awareness in VR. At the same time, I will do academic research to gain more knowledge and contributes to my design process.

So What?

Challenges you to think about the significance and value of your research contribution, not only to your practice but to the wider research context, and how this is best communicated and disseminated. — Gary

So in the end, I want to prove my argument of designing shared social VR experiences for both HMD wearer and other audiences through my final outputs of my thesis. On the top of that, I want to encourage other artists, designers, researchers to pay more attention to the physical world and other audiences when designing and developing a VR experience.

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