Journey to Xotera

Journey to Xotera is a guided interactive storytelling experience— set in outer space— designed to encourage participants to rethink how they use of their imagination.

Hayden Carey


Journey to Xotera is an interactive role-playing experience. Think of it as larping (live-action role-playing) that takes place on Zoom. The companion app allows for real-time interactivity.

How it works: Each Zoom guest is assigned the role of an astrobiologist looking for life on other planets. As your CampCom, I am guiding you on the inaugural mission to Xotera, an exo-planet that could one day be an Alternative Earth.

Using Zoom, real-world objects, and the interactive app, guests will be asked to communicate with their fellow astrobiologist teammates, reimagine everyday items as pieces of in-world texture, play mini-games, and, most importantly, opt into using their imaginations.

In this performative Zoom experience, guests are reminded how fun it is to tap into their childlike instincts. Children are inventive; nothing is out of bounds. Journey to Xotera encourages adults to question what it means to play. By the end, I hope guests hold onto their imagination, which hopefully the experience has inspired.

See the Companion App here:

See the Mission Control Center here:

Critical Experiences, Connections Lab, Connections Lab

“OfficersForEthics”: A Hypothetical Non-Lethal LEO Outreach Campaign

Attention must be brought to the needless death's that LEO's inflict on under served US populations one impactful PSA at a time.

Christopher Wray


This project was created to bring attention to the increase of deaths among undeserved citizens of the United States. The hope was to show (in this case) the usage of stun guns in situations that have paralleled some of the highest profile police brutality cases today. I want to illustrate that you “don't” have to shoot to kill in these tense interactions.

Video Links

PSA #1 –

PSA #2 –

PSA #3 –

Critical Experiences
Culture,Social Good/Activism

Cyborgian Rock

The Cyborgian Rock, a fictional entity experienced via a chatbot, stimulates animistic imagination in the user.

Maria Maciak


The Cyborgian Rock (CR) explores the untapped potentialities of social presence theory in technology. Social presence can be defined as the sense of being with another and is exploited by the designers of products such as Alexa or Tamagotchi.

The CR experience is the opposite of our encounters with consumer techno-products. It does not serve a utilitarian purpose or provide consumerist pleasures. Instead, it steers one towards reflections on nature, ancient traditions, and traditional modes of understanding as they relate to the modern experience.

The rock entity speaks obliquely, evoking both a sense of a non-human consciousness and providing the negative space necessary for a sense of social presence. The rock's responses touch on ideas stemming from animistic traditions, thus marrying the digital interface design and ancient modes of projecting social presence onto the natural world.

IMALR-GT.202, IMALR-GT.201 , IMALR-GT.201 , IMALR-GT.202
Critical Experiences, Connections Lab, Connections Lab, Critical Experiences


Nonclub is a room in passing, modeled after spaces we've lost access to and offered as an interruption, a break from digital overload.

Christina Lan


Nonclub developed over a course of exploring re-enactment, simulation, and memory in relation to underground spaces and sound. In thinking about the effects on mental health from the loss of certain spaces, this piece hopes to create an analogous experience that offers new ways of perceiving embodiment and forming connections.

Critical Experiences, Critical Experiences

liminal mind

Liminal mind is an exploration of what AI perceives about our experience in liminal spaces.

Julia Ann Myers


Liminal spaces are undefined, transitional spaces, often devoid of spatial cues and context. What has AI learned about our experiences in liminal spaces and how do AI-generated spaces reflect our conversations and images of liminality? Using media generated entirely by AI and machine learning programs, liminal mind is a Web VR experience comprised of three liminal spaces featuring soundscapes, a generated voiceover by a neural voice and equirectangular photos created from GAN images.

Critical Experiences
VR\\\\AR,Machine Learning

Entering the Deep

Entering the deep via a curated web experience. Taking on a journey through seeing deep creatures with an immersive spotlight feature. A easy fun multiplayer game of cleaning up the ocean is awaiting!

Po-Wen Shih


The deep is a mysterious and colorful place. A place of cold and hot, dark and high pressure. What is it like to be in the deep sea and… is it possible to get there? I asked myself. In fact, more people have traveled into space than have traveled to the deep ocean realm…

This immersive exploration and multiplayer game combines my research in Critical Experience Studios and web development tools learnt from Connections Lab in fall term 2020.

I wish to share my observations with you to the deep sea ecosystem. Please join me in entering the deep and see an imaginative and curated experience.

IMALR-GT.202, IMALR-GT.201 , IMALR-GT.201 , IMALR-GT.202
Critical Experiences, Connections Lab, Connections Lab, Critical Experiences

Mobile Botanic Park

Mobile botanic park, a new way for inspiring Urban-symbiosis

, , Yiru Lu


In a hundred years, 70 percent of Shanghai's native plants have been classified as rare or seriously rare. Urban species unity(lacking diversity) is increasing at an invisible rate. In order to satisfy urban life and human needs, we use herbicides against unwanted species, blaming the invasive species therefore covering up the vulnerability of habitats created by urban civilization.

This project will attempt to intervene in the ecology of public space by introducing species and nature topics from local ecology into urban public life through mobile buses.

Critical Experiences, Critical Experiences
Social Good/Activism,Sustainability