In Summer 2018, via Dean Teri Schwartz of UCLA TFT, the Skoll Center for SIE provided an educational and research grant to UCLA TFT’s Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation along with select TFT faculty and students for the purpose of bringing together a multidisciplinary group of twenty diverse TFT graduate students, faculty, staff and distinguished guest artists/mentors to investigate storytelling in augmented reality (AR) and explore the unique possibilities it offers as a platform for social impact storytelling/entertainment. Students at this year’s institute were challenged to use AR technology to create stories that illuminate the human condition, inspire social change, and make a difference in the world. The inspiration for their work came from N.K. Jemison’s sci-fi novel The Fifth Season, and focused on themes of nationalism, tribalism, displacement, universal rights such as dignity, liberty, equality and community, as well as humans’ relationship with (and stewardship of) the earth. The students’ hard work culminated in two days of invitation-only open rehearsals each consisting of 8-10 test audience members who had the opportunity to walk through the experience.
UCLA TFT Future Storytelling Summer Institute
Through support from the Skoll Center for SIE, a group of selected students and faculty from UCLA TFT set the stage for new explorations at TFT and in their own creative work through their participation in this summer institute. Under the mentorship of institute faculty, students learn how to use cutting-edge technology to explore new forms of storytelling and performance.