New Audience of the Future Design Foundation projects

The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries shares news of two new Audience of the Future Design Foundation projects here at the University of Portsmouth.  ‘XR Audience Centred Design – The Future Theatre’ and ‘Designing Disgust – Why do we feel the need to judge?’ will be projects based within CCI.

XR Audience Centred Design – The Future Theatre 

‘XR Audience Centred Design – The Future Theatre’ is a project designed to examine how digital future is integrating into live theatre performances.

The future is digital: how would audiences like technology to integrate with theatre? Fatherland XR brings together live theatre performance with cutting-edge digital technology, blurring the barrier between reality and virtual reality. For the first time, in a theatre setting, a whole audience can enjoy a virtual reality experience at the same time – without the need for everyone to wear a headset. Headsets are problematic: they are a barrier for many, and a significant number of theatregoers are reluctant to engage with them.

By putting the audience at the heart of the design, we now want to continue to push the boundaries of technology, asking what our audience would like next, and how we can design the experience to best suit them.

Designing Disgust: Why do we feel the need to judge?

‘Designing Disgust: Why do we feel the need to judge?’ explores how and why society judges our past compared to the present. How has history led us to judge in the way in which we do now and what is it that makes us feel the urge to judge?

Clothing is, by its nature, emotive. The dress we wore to the prom, the suit we wore on our wedding day. Clothes have meaning to us. That emotion, however, is not always positive. Is that a bad thing? Do we secretly love to be disgusted? Will the clothes and items we find perfectly acceptable today disgust others in a few short years?

History would teach us this is likely to be the case. This project will allow us to design an exhibition that will help us to go deeper, understand why that is the case, and experience it for ourselves, in the way we choose to.

For example, Worthing Museum has a piece we shall call the ‘Monkey Cape’: a cape worn by a lady, made from a monkey. In its time, this was a luxury piece generating joy and pride in its own. As the piece has evolved, however, it has transitioned to generating disgust. Join that piece on its journey, and through the experience, the ‘Evolution of the Monkey Cape’; begin to question the things we find acceptable today. Will the class of 2060 view our plastic shoes with the same feelings the cape evokes in us?


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