Students Impress at IMA Spring 2015 End-of-Semester Show

May 16 2015

May 15, 2015—On Friday evening, NYU Shanghai’s Interactive Media Arts (IMA) Lab was a buzzing cluster of students showing off their end-of-semester projects for the IMA Spring 2015 End-of-Semester Show.

The exhibit walked through a myriad of experimental works by the students of IMA’s Interaction Lab, Communications Lab, Rapid Prototyping, Talking Fabrics, and Shanghai Streetfood & Urban Farming courses, IMA Independent Study projects, and the Autodesk / IMA Smart Home Design Challenge.

Interaction Lab projects “DinoRun” by Jiamin Zhang and “Stop Skipping Legs Day” by Michelle Huang and Cheryl Shan Li had participants jumping and racing around, giving a physical twist to combat the usual sedentary nature of gaming.

Students, faculty, and staff explored the boundaries of virtual reality with “Flight Suit” by Sean Kelly and navigated surreal mountainous landscapes in Samantha Shi’s virtual reality “Treasure” project, both from the Rapid Prototyping course.

Also from Rapid Prototyping, Zhang Zhan’s addicting “Game of Claws” was a virtual claw machine game operated with an actual coin slot—one jiao per try.

A winning participant in the Autodesk/IMA Smart Home Design Challenge was Xiaoyue Gong, also from Rapid Prototyping, with “Air Butler”—an air-purifying system that involves a wireless sensor system, a web app, and a robot that can talk among each other. Gong plans to further develop her project until it’s ready for the prototyping and fabrication stages.

“‘Air Butler’ couldn’t have happened without the help of Professor Matthew Belanger,” said Gong. “I have taken three IMA classes of his since freshman year, and all the skills he taught me have been so crucial in the process of building.”

The Shanghai Street Food & Urban Farming course presented the “Mapping Street Food & Window Farms” project by Tayyaba Asiam, Hailun Bai, Guillermo Carrasquero, Michael Chavez, Michelle Huang, Hunter Jarvis, Jiawei Li, Pauline Miller, Kevin Pham, Rewant Prakash, Tyler Rhorick, Annie Seaman, Sarabi Eventide, Echo Wang, Tracy Yang, Jin CHuan Zhang, and Tianyi Zhao.

Passersby paused for a moment to take in student short films from the Communications Lab Video Reel playing “A Day in the Life of a Puppet” by Isabella Baranyk, Nicholas Sanchez, and Yu Zhou. The Communications Lab Animation Reel featured student animated short films, including Mary Kate How Fee Koy’s “What’s Cooking?” and “The Balloons” by Stephanie Yue Sun.

Students even showcased tech-interactive fashion, with “For A Good Time, Text” by Nicole Chan, Richard Lewei Huang, Krishan Mistry, Anna Schmidt, and Jingyi Sun from Talking Fabrics. Their LED-embedded clothing line project light-danced in vibrant patterns as a response to text messages.

For an Independent Study project of "Experiments in Projection Mapping"—and as part of a self-designed Visual Effects concentration at Tisch's film school—Justin Scholar’s “Peking” project creatively used tracking to isolate the foot of a breakdancer and use its position in X & Y of a recorded video to project digital ink onto suspended rice paper.

Scholar was inspired by the similarity between Global Liberal Studies junior Adan Kohnhorst’s breakdancing movements and the fluidity of the 草书 calligraphy he was learning in Studio Art.

“How often are we granted the opportunity to fill our schoolwork with every one of our interests?” said Scholar of his opportunity to create in Shanghai. “There is so much room to grow here, and I have already found incredible resources.”

After touring the multitude of projects, Chancellor Yu acknowledged the students' creativity and innovation, saying, "They bring technology to life in a way that’s full of fun.”

View Photos from the IMA Spring 2015 End-of-Semester Show

Article and photos by Charlotte San Juan