AR Sandbox

Richard Lapham

Experiment with space, physics and occlusion in three immersive AR environments.


AR Sandbox (alternative title: Stupid Dimensions) is an immersive media experience where users experiment with spatial representation in three digital environments. Each environment or dimension has a unique user interaction that plays with space, occlusion, and the user experience in VR/AR.

The first environment is a fragmented, jagged world. Depth is flattened by overlapping grid patterns that conflate the foreground and the background. Users can add to the environment by creating new grids patterns, planes showing the current camera feed, and cubes that show through to the real world.

The second environment is full of floating digital paintings inspired by the Memphis Group (think Jazzy-cup or Safe by the Bell). Users can interact and add to these objects by painting with several brush strokes. In addition to the standard brush stroke, users can paint and create particles with a material that reveals the real world.

The final environment is essentially a physics engine. A rotating galaxy floats in front of the use and constantly spawns new stars orbiting around its center. Users can create new orbitals and stars that effect and alter the gravity of the scene. A third star option has the same physics as the other stars but shows the real world behind it.

AR Sandbox is an ongoing experimentation with immersive environments and how they influence spatial perception. It was inspired by artists tackling perception and space such as David Hockney, Robert Irwin and James Turrell. The application was developed using Unity3D with the ARKit plugin.