CMU School of Drama

Monday, April 03, 2017

CMU augmented reality app shows East Liberty as it used to be

TribLIVE: It would be easy to walk right by the vacant storefront along Penn Avenue in East Liberty.

There's a brightly colored mural painted over large metal doors. A vinyl sign says the storefront is for lease.

But the building's history is lost to the passerby.

An app under development by a team of Carnegie Mellon University theater students intends to change that.


Delaney Johnson said...

I am continuously surprised and in awe of the amazing accomplishments my classmates and fellow tartans achieve every day. Every week I leave my articles on this blog and every week I read at least one article explaining the amazing things Carnegie Mellon Students are achieving every day. This app is an example of that innovation as well as the intersection of technology and art that happens every day at Carnegie Mellon University. I remember when I was first touring at CMU and the Randy Pausch bridge was explained to me as the physical representation of the sciences and the arts working in unison on campus. I thought this was an amazing idea, however I never completely believed it was possible. Nonetheless, this app uses technology and innovation to artfully bring the past to the present with a unique aesthetic design. I hope to download the app in the future and be able to take part in the amazing work going on at Carnegie Mellon University.

Taylor Steck said...

Its always so exciting to see articles about what other people in Purnell are accomplishing posted amongst the other blog posts here! Especially in media, where the entire concept of media design and what exactly "media" is defined as is still being frontiered right now. It's also cool to see how media design and technology can be used outside of the constraints of a theatre, and what it can do outside the space of a stage and a script. I also liked being able to read about the reactions from students from other schools within CMU in the article, considering it's easy to get stuck within the bubble that is the School of Drama. It's also exciting to see another example of how the arts and sciences can be worked together in unison, especially with the integration of history in the case of this app in particular, as well as Pittsburgh itself. It kind of reminds me of our very first Susan project, where we all got assigned different important parts of Pittsburgh to learn about and then make a visual board about it.

Angel Zhou said...

This concept seems really cool and I’m really excited about the use of augmented reality, but I had a hard time visualizing the app’s potential through this article. The author, Aaron Aupperlee, discusses a lot about the idea behind and the future look of the app, but without any visual examples (even if they did not include the augmented reality), it is hard for a reader to recognize the effects of seeing what a building now looked like in the past. Simply juxtaposing after and before shots of an East Liberty building would have been enough, but the article’s images focused instead on what it looks like to be in Professor Shea’s class. While it is nice to see the behind-the-scenes, it is not enough to be told what something is supposed to look like – images, especially with a visually-oriented app idea, do wonders to prove a point and provoke awe and excitement.

Mark Ivachtchenko said...

I love this type of stuff! It reminds of of present-day photographs that are digitally spliced with historic photographs to showcase the contrasting views between the two times. It's strange getting to know Pittsburgh because it's such a new city and pretty different when compared to the city I've lived in my whole life. Back home, I WISH I had an app like this because it would be amazing to see how the neighborhood I've grown up in has changed. However, even to an outsider like me, this stuff is incredibly interesting and even more incredible than that is the fact that fellow classmates are the ones behind all of this. As Taylor states, it's awesome to see how Media can go beyond the theater world and actually cross the border to the realms of what the other half of the CMU campus does. Furthermore, Pittsburgh undoubtedly has an incredible history and it's understandable why some of these storefronts are vacant now after recent years but it's great to be able to revisit them using tech.

Lauren Miller said...

So obviously this is a really amazing project that will provide historical insights into what Pittsburgh used to be and preserve a quickly disappearing history. I am really excited to see this project come to fruition. Congratulations media designers and fellow students. The really weird thing is, I probably know the people who are working on this. And yet, I had no idea this project was going up until this article was posted. I suppose what I am trying to say is that we consistently fail to communicate to other departments about our projects. How many times have I walked into the building and learned that the voice class just did a performance. Or that the directors have finals that are open to the public. Maybe we all think that the other people around us just won't be interested in our work, but that can't be true. Or maybe I'm just blind and all these things are advertised but I somehow manage to miss them. I think we should be more interested in each other's work. Who knows, maybe people will want to see the mechanical rainstorm work (if it's ever finished).