Hosted by THU (Trojan Horse was a Unicorn), Desirable Future was an ArtStation Challenge held June to August 2019. THU 2019 is sponsored by Mercedes Benz, with Vera Schmidt, an Advanced User Experience Designer, and Alexander Mankowsky, a futurist, as part of the team of judges.
Over the course of 1.5 months, I researched online about VR and developed my concept art skills. I placed 2nd out of 432 people in the student category.
In 2060, there is still too much CO2 in the air but can be fixed with forestation, algae cultivation, or slow agriculture. Design a world where technology, creativity and innovation join forces to create a future where our inner child would want to play in and have fun with others.
Read full prompt here.
Monitor the overall health of a forest using Tree Rings; build empathy for trees using emoticons and VR education.
We can now monitor the health of a forest by placing a few Tree Rings throughout a forest. Unhealthy forests are more prone to forest fires and destruction, the use of Tree Rings could prevent these disasters by notifying us when the rings detect something wrong. These Tree Rings also increase CO2 absorption and oxygen production. The simple tree ring design came from not wanting to overwhelm nature with machinery, and nor did I want to make technology the focus over a nature scene.
I was interested in learning more about VR as an educational tool, and what I found was really eye opening. There are 3 main advantages of VR education.
Emoticons light up the same parts of our brain when we see a human facial expression. An emotional bond can be created, making children care more about trees.
It's easier for people to understand emoticons and simple emotions than numbers that represent a state. For children, the health of a tree can be represented by 3 states: happy, neutral, sad (unhealthy). Based on this article and this finding.
Curves in architecture encourage movement, this space is round to encourage the user to move around and explore
During my research, I also found out that the United Nations actually has a plan for a desirable future. My artwork relates to 2 of their 17 goals:
I used a 3D model of a mobius strip, as well as photobashing and hand illustration techniques to achieve my final illustration. The challenge was to make the composition, lighting and rendering style to work together seamlessly.
During the 2 months I spent researching and working on my illustration, I learned an incredible amount about VR education and greatly expanded my concept art skills. While it was interesting to come up with tree ring technology that doesn’t exist yet, it made me realize the importance of being environmentally conscious of what I'm designing. Concept art makes it easy to create cool new technologies, but in the real world how many resources, time, and money will it take to produce this product? How might we make VR education economically accessible to all kids? There are a lot of questions that are present, and I hope to keep broadening my knowledge about the world and think about the future impacts and results of my design choices.
Thank you to Miguel Gallardo, Annette Cheung, Yan Tymoshenko and Alex Honeywell for the feedback on my work.