A Global Virtual Showcase to Close the 2020 Spring Semester


Students from all three of NYU’s degree-granting campuses in New York, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi logged on for the 2020 Spring Showcase, a public, two-day exhibition and archive of over 100 students’ final projects for various interactive courses completed during this challenging, digitally-dominant spring semester. 

NYU Shanghai’s Interactive Media Arts (IMA) and Interactive Media and Business (IMB) majors spent both Sunday and Monday night giving live presentations of their works to the public via Zoom.

In the past, NYU Shanghai students have gathered on the eighth and ninth floors of the academic building to celebrate a semester of hard work, giving classmates, faculty, and staff the chance to cruise booths, peek into VR darkrooms, and be amazed by project demonstrations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this semester, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts ITP and IMA programs, along with IMA and IMB at NYU Shanghai and IM at NYU Abu Dhabi came together for a joint online event representing “creative applications of the recently possible.”

And in another first, organizers also created Zoom spaces where NYU Shanghai’s IMA/B classes, instructors and participating students met to give presentations to the public. 

Some featured projects by NYU Shanghai students:



By: Fei Zeping ’20

What it is: A speculative wearable design that integrates temperature-detection and real-time geolocation tracking systems.

Class: Extended Perception

“CoronaHack is an augmented vision system that integrates a speculative cyberpunk wearable design and a real-time geolocation data system. It allows users to perceive a thermal imaging environment and extract temperature information from human subjects. When one’s temperature is detected as abnormal, CoronaHack will trigger warnings and log the person’s temperature and geolocation data to a cloud service. Data is visualized in real-time on a virtual map that is accessible from any device. The system has a decentralized and open architecture so that it contributes to citizen science and data spaces designed for the greater good.”
Experience the full project here


By: Gu Xiaojie ’20

What it is: Qube is a set of puzzle blocks that are friendly for visually-impaired kids to play with

Class: Toy Design and Prototyping

“The blocks consist of 7 different pieces made with 7 different materials, including four kinds of fabric, metal, wood, plastic. Each of the blocks will be in a unique shape, thus easier for blind kids to feel, touch, recognize, and move. Also, the material will help them in building their blocks as well. The goal is to train the space perception of blind kids and to teach them to tell different materials.
However, during my design process, I decided to make Qube available for sighted kids as well. I added braille on each block so that sighted kids can learn and build more empathy with blind kids. To play with Qube, there should be at least two sighted  kids and two sets of blocks. One covers his/her eyes with the eye mask and creates different figures with the blocks. The other, also wearing the mask, will try to mimic the shape with the help of material and braille.”
Experience the full project here




“Art On A Chair”  

By: Joseph Yang ’22

What it is:  A program that records a swivel chair’s subtle movements to paint a unique work of digital art 

Class: Movement Practices And Computing 


“I attached the IMU (inertial measurement unit) to the spinning chair in my room and wrote a program that can draw a picture based on the spinning of the chair. If I started to run the sketch at the beginning of the day, the final output would be a beautiful art piece. This project can reflect all the subtle motions of your chair. And it tells you that your daily life is also a piece of art.”
Experience the full project here




“The Monthly Hogwarts: April” 

By: Yu Sang ’22

What it is: A data story about Harry Potter fanfictions in April 2020

Class: Critical Data Visualization 

“The subject of my final project is ‘Harry Potter Fanfictions.’ In the internet era, the fanfiction community demonstrates great growth potential. In this interactive data visualization project, based on the most recent month of HP fanfictions, I demonstrate some aspects of HP fanfictions such as relationships, pairings, fandoms, and imaginations. I designed the website as an online monthly newspaper to make it more interesting than the pure data analysis.”
Experience the full project here




“What Is A Computer?”

By: Chen Liyu ’22

What it is: the anatomy of a CPU (central processing unit)

Class: Working With Electrons 


“In this project, I make the theories of how computers work more accessible to audiences without previous background. I designed and implemented a 4-bit Arithmetic and Logic Unit from scratch using 74-series Integrated Circuits. The circuit is controlled by a microprocessor hosting a website on the Local Area Network. After logging into the website, the user follows the “machine code-like” instruction prompted, input the designated values, select the mode of computation, then submit the form. The circuit would show the inputs in binary form, then calculate, show the output in binary form as well. By following the instruction and seeing the binary results being returned, the user can understand better how a computer functions from a more “down-to-earth” perspective.”

Experience the full project here



“The Normalization Program”

By: Wang Zehua ’20

What it is: A parafictional business website that examines the misperceptions and the imposed social normalcy of the LGBTQ community

Class: Make Believe

“The Normalization Program is a business website that examines the misperceptions of the LGBTQ community and the social normalcy imposed on them.
The project collects found news, social media posts, and personal experiences and translates these narratives into supportive materials on the business website. In the first glimpse of the website, it gives an impression of a genuine business. The appearance of the website with the slogans, the up-to-date technology, the research, the profiles of the professional team members, as well as the cooperation with real international organizations, all carries the legitimacy of the business.
However, upon further examination of the website and investigation of the subtle information, the audience might start making associations with misperceptions they’ve experienced or witnessed. With more absurdity introduced along with the experience, the project pushes the audience to question the authenticity of the website and reflect on how the LGBTQ community is suffering from misperception and struggling fitting into the social normalcy as a minority group.”
Experience the full project here



“Butterfly Dream, 2020”

By: Daisy Chen ’21

What it is: A virtual illustration of dreams and the subconscious, inspired by Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi

Class: Nature Of Code



“Inspired by the story of the butterfly dream written by Zhuangzi, this project aims to illustrate the mind flow of different layers of the dream. From the surface of the dream to the subconsciousness, the audience will go deeper and deeper. With the boundary of virtual and reality being questioned, people are led to Zhuangzi’s inquiry from thousands of years ago – Am I dreaming of the butterfly, or the butterfly is dreaming of me?”
Experience the full project here



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