AN ONLINE SPACE FOR INTERACTION BETWEEN NEW/RETURNING STUDENTS AND THE UNIVERSITY EXTRA-CURRICULAR COMMUNITY
Orientation marks the start of a journey. You explore, investigate and envision what the next few months of your life could bring. Yet now, because of COVID, the interactions we would’ve had on campus are reduced to 4x4 videos on your screen and after connecting with multiple people at the same time, at the end of the call, you’re still left alone trapped within the four walls of your room. This is a common realisation in our new reality.
The Quad aspires to help you explore and eliminate that discord by translating the connections and events that happen offline into your online life. Our immersive experience is created by enlarging empathy in space. Cubic infrastructural booths for different activities and the use of multi-gravity celebrates the different facets of university life and of the individual. The Quad expands your perspective beyond the four walls of your apartment, providing you with multi-dimensional world to meet members of the university community.
New Paper II // 2020
The Fourth Place: The Future of Online Social Spaces
TUTORS: Allison Crank &
Raphael Penasa for TygerTyger
& Haoyue Wang
Lockdown demonstrated a need for better fourth places. We aligned our lobby with Orientation week at the University of Melbourne. We based this on our own experiences studying and attending classes via Zoom and the feelings of isolation leftover after the call ended as well as the fact that we were new to Melbourne and the university.
Student community life is an essential ingredient to the college experience and the loss of it during lockdown was highly impactful to both us and our peers. The Quad is our attempt to bring back some of the community spirit during lockdown and provide an social experience for virtual university life.
THE QUAD ENCOURAGES EXPLORATION TO BUILD COMMUNITY SPIRIT
CIRCULATION IN VIRTUAL SPACE
How students and users enter, navigate and interact in The Quad
1. The circulation starts at the top of our weenie. The user spawns at a birdseye view looking downwards to see the multi-dimensional community as well as view the entirety of the Quad in one perspective point.
2. The user is then transported to the centre point area. Markers and signs direct users to explore the Quad's four different wings.
3A. From here users have the option of exploring the exterior of 3A, where they can chat to other orientation students on any flat surface.
3B. Users can also explore the interior of the booths, where they can meet members and sign up for clubs and societies.
VIDEO: Screen capture of a flythrough in the virtual lobby space.
USING THE VIRTUAL TO ENHANCE THE REAL
Our core value is ‘exploration,’ a key part in starting to build or join a community. Our main design goal is for this virtual space to facilitate exploration of opportunities that are usually present at student orientation and encourage interactions to continue outside of our lobby.
ENTER THE VIRTUAL LOBBY
If you have a VR headset, Google Cardboard or even through your internet browser, you can join and explore the lobby prototype space in a social VR setting. Follow the TOUR UI to learn how to navigate or read the Mozilla Hubs tutorial here.
You can use the WASD buttons to move and Q and E buttons to rotate your view. Press spacebar and click to share emoticons or find locations to teleport to.
Orientation goes online. Explore possibilities to develop university community spirit and sign up for extracurriculars via immersive interactions.
DIAGRAMS, ELEVATIONS, CONCEPT DRAWINGS, ETC.
QUADRANT: The plan view was inspired by the feeling of endlessness in one of our inspiration images. In the plan view, the space is divided in the positive and negative x/y axis and is does not indicate any movement in the z axis.
MULTI-GRAVITY: Cubic infrastructure houses booths to support the different student activities and clubs while the use of multi-gravity symbolises the different facets of university life and the individual.
AUDIENCE: Breakdown of our target audience
AUDIENCE VALUES: Values the Quad needs to deliver to our target group.
PARAMETRIC FORM DIAGRAM: A basic pattern was generated through grasshopper to create aggregated forms and growth and then was rearranged in a quadrilateral fashion. The structures were hollowed to provide interior spaces and create opportunities to play with depth perception.
SECTION: Illustrates how we break the illusion that each box is it's own room on the exterior and start to introduce our multi-gravity environment internally.
ELEVATION & EASTER EGGS: The centre axis is emphasised by our domed sculptures in the centre. This also acts as weenie for users who are lost or dis-orientated by the multi-gravity, encouraging them to move to the centre area in order to re-orient themselves. This strategy is akin to the Disneyland castle which helps orient guests throughout the park. We also include some architectural easter eggs by inserting elements from Melbourne university in the architectural design.
BOOTHS: Taking anecdotes from stage sets. We decided to use scale, orientation and lighting to inspire users to come and engage with the societies in ways that are not possible to experience in person. This mult-gravity booth format allows for several clubs to inhabit the same area on different planes.
AVATARS: To customise the experience, the avatar has an antenna which changes color according to how much they would like to socialise.
AVATAR CUSTOMIZATION: Users can customise their cardboard box to display features about themselves and can also draw onto other avatars with the student's permission. This facilitates a more user-to-user connected experience.