Art & Science Collaborations


By David Osborn & Helen Ai He.

“Explorer” is an imaginary world which users can enter into through the portal of their computer. It is a distant and infinite realm of solitude and eternal exploration. It is also a place of adventure for us – the builders – as we are free to invent new spaces without being constrained by the physical limitations of the real world.

This project was the result of a year-long interdisciplinary collaboration between David Osborn (Media Arts & Digital Technologies, Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD)) and Helen Ai He (Computer Science, University of Calgary) in Calgary, Canada, as part of the Art, Science & Technologies research course.  **David Osborn is an incredibly talented game designer – much of the credit of this beautiful project goes to him!

In this first-person simulation, the player is able to explore and interact with the environment through simple actions such as walking on the grass and looking around in various directions. This world encompasses dynamic changes including grass and clouds reacting to wind effects, dynamically forming and dissipating clouds, and a changing sky with moon and twinkling stars. Artistic techniques are combined with non-photorealistic rendering methods to create a surreal effect. More on our project here.

This work was presented in 2007 at two exhibitions at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), in Calgary, Canada – once at the Mad Tea Festival, and a final showing at the ACAD graduation show. Screenshots of the 3D world are below.