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Student Created Augmented Reality Exhibit Wins a Rosey Award

Autovation, the augmented reality exhibit created by 10 students in The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver, was awarded a Rosey Award in the category of "Experiential."  The Roseys, founded in 1957 by the Portland Advertisers Federation, are annual awards given out  for work that "exempl[ies] inspired creativity and original thinking."

What makes receiving this award so important to us in the field is that Autovation embodies the kind of digital humanities project that Burdick et al talk about their their book, Digital_Humanities in that it "encompasses the use of sound, motion, graphics, animation, screen capture, video, audio, and the appropriation and remixing of code that underlies game engines" (11).

Let me explain . . . 

Autovation is a car stripped down to its skeletal self and situated on a base at a 30 degree angle.  Positioned in three places around the car (the engine, safety belt, and wheel) are iPads.  When a visitor to the exhibit moves the iPad to the engine, for instance, he or she will see an interface appear on the iPad screen.  The interface has a 3D model of an engine rotating on the screen allowing the visitor to see all aspects of the engine.  The user also see buttons, when tapped, takes her or him to a series of short animations explaining engine technology and text that provides a deeper discussion about engines.  

Dick Hannah Dealerships: Autovation

 

Beginning last November these students began researching possible ideas for an exhibit for OMSI that would be funded by Dick Hannah Dealerships.  Their research resulted in hundreds of pages of information and took them to exhibits produced for museums, art galleries and museums, and businesses.  They narrowed down their data to come up with three strong ideas.  After talking to their OMSI team members, the students further narrowed their choices to two and created a formal presentation, which they gave to people at OMSI and Dick Hannah.  In January the idea for Autovation was selected, and the students began working to develop a development plan.  Once a strategy and budget were determined, they turned their attention to production.  This work included interface design, 3D modeling, animations, storyboarding, written documentation, coding, programming, website development, and usability testing.  Students worked through spring break and onward to June, even after classes had ended and many of them had graduated.  On June 10, they launched the exhibit with much fanfare at OMSI at an event sponsored by Dick Hannah.

When I talk to colleagues who ask me about the value of production on the digital humanities, I point to Autovation as a model.  The amount of work that went into it and the level of thinking that it took to devise and execute its development goes beyond what people expect to see from undergraduates.  

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