PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THROUGH VR PANORAMA

Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.

In this project students combine the skills they have learnt in image creation with creative thinking on a very specific subject. First researching issues related to the environment and choosing an issue, then coming up with creative ideas to represent that issue visually. The final work will be a panoramic image that surrounds the viewer and explains or adds to the concepts they have learnt about.

Climate change is only one of many symptoms of an out-of-control disease – human overpopulation.

Created by : Carly Lord

Click to view VR (external site)

Exegesis:

I read an article that argues that climate change isn’t the biggest threat the world, the growing human population is. This inspired me to think about other environmental issues that are caused either directly or consequently as a result of the way we live and inhabit our world.

Theme: Anthropogenic impact is the biggest threat to the planet and can be directly or indirectly contributed to every environmental issue, which is exacerbated by overpopulation, overconsumption and exploitation of resources.

I had an abundance of different thoughts and ideas that influenced my final design choice.  I wanted to create a VR panorama that was immersive, complex, and on the verge of overstimulation and overwhelm. I wanted to incorporate the ‘four elements’ of earth, water, air and fire to illustrate human impact and environmental destruction.

By placing the viewers perspective at eye level with the city skyline, it emphasises the cooling towers making them seem monolithic and overbearing. The bushfire backdrop signifies the widespread destruction of land and the decimation of countless animals .

Unfortunately, a lot of controlled burn permit applications are rejected by government throughout April when the conditions are ideal, with concerns that tourism would be negatively impacted over the Easter period.

With Parliament house in the city, I wanted to draw connection to the political decisions that contributed to the horrific bushfires that ripped through regional Victoria over the summer.  By combining various visual elements, I was able to bring the city and the country together through the use of power station infrastructure and bushfires.

By placing the city over a pile of rubbish, I wanted the audiences attention to be drawn to how waste and landfill is directly correlated to overdevelopment and growing population results in further waste and landfill, that is often buried and kept out of sight. I incorporated the night sky to illustrate that not all hope is lost, that there is a way for us to climb out of the prison we have created. Through reducing unnecessary light pollution, we can see the stars and a brighter future in contrast to what is immediately in front of us.

Utopia vs. Dystopia

Contrasting environments and the impact they have on one another. Area of focus is Marine Biodiversity and pollution.

Created by : Matthew Hardy-Brown

Click to view VR (external site)

Exegesis:

There are many different factors that lead to the pollution of global oceans. The major ones are as follows: Oil spills, atmospheric pollution, deep sea mining and runoff. Each of these have respectively resulted in reduced marine flora and fauna as well as negatively impacted the native biodiversity.

Pollution, defined by the National Geographic, is “the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land.” (NatGeo,2016). For my final piece I feel it is imperative to illustrate elements of pollutants and the stark contrast of what the natural environments used to be.

I feel the best way to do this will be to capture a 50/50 landscape ocean photograph and blend it as the great divide between what lives below and how the above creatures have harmed their environment to the point of no return.

My primary intentions for this piece are to construct a simulated environment that shares both the natural elements of earth and the damage mankind has caused over the years. I want to show a clear divide between the two landscapes, allowing for the viewer to be immersed into the water, while still experiencing the , to see what “could be”, rather than what has been done for the past years of mankind not using renewable energy sources. This will be evident through using polluted clouds and dark skies in stark contrast to healthy seas and a diverse set of marine flora and fauna.

I wanted to place the viewer of the piece in the centre of the picture able to experience both environments at a glance, without having to adjust the view. I want the audience to be put into a first-person point of view of a swimmer/snorkeler in the water with the man-made environment closing in on them, symbolising how if we continue ruining the environment there will be nothing left to save.

Other influences to my final design would be that of a simulated nature. Two influential media forms such as “The Truman Show” and “The Lorax”, carried weight on my final piece as they both shared a story from a narrator’s point of view. They are also cantered around man made constructions and a protagonist who wants to experience the world and all its realities, while ensuring a beneficial co-existence between man and nature.

DFACT acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we operate and we pay our respects to Elders, past, present, and emerging. 
DFACT
Deakin College
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood
Victoria, Australia, 3125
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