The VR Lab @ Stanford University's CCRMA conducts research in the artful design of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR, AR, XR) for music. The VR Lab supports research projects in the CCRMA community, as well as collaborations with Computer Science, Art and Art History, and Communication at Stanford.
VR research questions include:
• What does it mean to design artfully in the medium?
• What are VR's artistic, philosophical, humanistic implications?
• How might we design immersive virtual environments that encourage play, stillness, and calm?
• How to design novel tools for expressive VR? (see: Chunity)
• What new musical interactions and instruments are possible?
• How might we play music, and play music socially, in a virtual space?
• What does it mean to perform in virtual reality?
• What new experiences can we craft for artful, interactive, multi-modal storytelling?
Ge Wang is an Associate Professor at Stanford University, the designer of the ChucK music programming language, director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, Co-founder of Smule, designer of Ocarina and Magic Piano for mobile phones, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime, a (comic) book about the craft, aesthetics, and ethics of shaping technology. Ge leads the Music.Computing.Design research group at CCRMA.
Jack Atherton is a Ph.D. student at CCRMA studying immersive musical environments and programming languages in VR. His work hopes to help more people make musical art in informal contexts as a means of enriching their lives. He uses the lenses of folk art, human flourishing, and audio-first virtual realities to figure out what to do next!
Kunwoo Kim is a CCRMA master's student, researching in designing aesthetic lenses of human values in the medium of VR. His previous works—Music and Evolution, rU01, rU10, and The Fisherman—express human qualities in the form of real-time audiovisual interactions. He aspires to expand his design into social, philosophic, and ethical dimensions of virtual reality, and suggest future directions and artful methods of imbuing human nature and music into this immersive medium.
Marina Cottrell is a master's student at CCRMA, and is interested in how machine learning can be used to better create music and understand how we as humans interact with it. Through her work on the Facebook Audio team, she has also become interested in 360 audio and the nuances of sound in 3D space. Her previous VR works have explored her interest in musical gaming, but she is interested in branching out and creating other ways of experiencing music through VR. She has a dog Lola who is learning to keep her distance when Marina has a Vive on her face.
Charles Foster is a master's student at CCRMA, studying design in the context of interactive sound. He works to bring elements of the strange, the uncanny, and the sublime—often encountered in the "real world"—into his electronic and virtual creations. Within the VR lab, he has been experimenting with the design of virtual sacred spaces: environments meant to evoke a sense of transcendence and stillness. His work-in-progress work, Form, is a small audio-visuo-tacti-temporal demo of this sort of space. He hopes that when the world of virtual and augmented reality arrives, we remember to bring such places with us.
Mark Sabini is a coterm in Computer Science, interested in exploring the aesthetics of VR group performance. Many of his previous works, such as MandalaBox and Unblind, draw on his fascination with world cultures and music. Regardless of the medium or project, he always aspires to find ways to make things beautiful, whatever that may mean.
Trijeet Mukhopadhyay is a graduate student at Stanford HCI, working in the intersection of design, art, and technology. He is interested in designing tools for creative expression, and has been drawn to VR to explore its nascent design space and multisensorial affordances.
Matt Wright for his help to set up the space and hardware.
Nette Worthey for facilitaing many equipment orders, and for general good cheer.
Stanford Arts for their support and connecting groups interested in VR research at Stanford and beyond.
The CCRMA community!