Member Event on June 27, 2024: How Generations Y & Z Explore the Metaverse

At the second member event of this year, the focus was on how generations Y & Z use and explore the metaverse. We had the opportunity to gain exciting insights into current research projects at the HSLU Design & Art in Emmenbrücke. Here is a brief summary of the high-caliber program:

  • Klaus Marek, Professor and Head of the Bachelor’s Program in Spatial Design at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) – Design & Art, introduced the evening. He explained how the Bachelor’s program “Spatial Design” explores digital innovations such as Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality to open up new ways of acting and experiencing in spaces. They design indoor and outdoor spaces for various events and environments – from multimedia exhibitions to pioneering learning and working environments to participatory urban planning. The focus is always on people and their needs, as well as the environment. Communication and interaction play a crucial role in their designs.
  • Tobias Matter presented the project “Augmented Planning.” HSLU, in collaboration with the planning agency Metron, is exploring the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) as a visualization tool for designing and planning indoor and outdoor spaces. The research focuses on when and at what level of abstraction AR is most effectively used in planning processes. The goal is to develop prototype solutions and demonstrate the technical feasibility of AR as a visualization tool on smartphones and tablets. As part of the Innosuisse project “Augmented Planning,” HSLU, together with the City of Lucerne, developed a digital approach for the redesign of Waldstätterstrasse. By scanning a QR code on-site, users could playfully experience with Augmented Reality how the street section could look in the future. They could also express their opinions on the design through a survey. Using web-based AR, passersby were invited to help design the street. They could choose where and how many trees to plant, which areas to green, and where to place benches.
  • Three bachelor’s theses from the Spatial Design program were presented by the students:
    • Mundo Pémon (by Anna Lodeiros): An immersive VR experience based on the mythology and legends of the Pemon culture in Venezuela.
    • Towards Other Perspectives (by Julian Matter): A virtual chairlift ride that brings the alpine landscape to life. The vertical movement of the ascent is reflected in the depicted landscape. This VR experience vividly demonstrates how flora and fauna shift due to climate change, providing a new perspective on the landscape.
    • Futuristic Stage Design (by Noemi Scheitlin): A stage design developed for a psytrance event that integrates the audience into the experience while dancing. The dancers merge with the visuals, telling a story of a journey through a surreal world. Noemi drew inspiration for her work from various metaverse worlds and concerts.
  • Vittoria Schenk, a Matura graduate, presented her final thesis, in which she explored whether and how the metaverse could be used for marketing purposes.
  • Janis Hegwein introduced the Metapeace Association. Metapeace promotes science, technology, and education as foundations for peace in the metaverse and beyond. Their first project, Nobel Land, is an educational game for the Sandbox Metaverse about Nobel Prizes. Players can learn about Nobel Prize-winning research in all six Nobel Prize disciplines. Twenty-two Nobel Laureate NPCs (Non-Player Characters) guide players through the land and offer quests related to their Nobel Prizes, accompanied by insightful dialogues about their research. QR codes lead to online media libraries from educational platforms. More information.

Afterward, participants could explore the Spatial Werkschau and see how ideas and dreams grow into room-filling statements. The Werkschau is the celebrated conclusion of the Spatial Design degree at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU).

Many thanks to the HSLU team, including Christophe Merkle, Klaus Marek, and Isabel Tobler, for their hospitality, co-organization, and excellent collaboration.