Mixed Reality
Experiential Space

Dan Shefelman working with Virtual Reality

The technology used in creating visual stories is evolving at a rapid pace, and during the pandemic this evolution has accelerated. Throughout his career as an animator, Dan Shefelman, associate professor and chair of Illustration and Interactive Media, has voraciously adopted new technology to tell original visual stories and work as a creative innovator on commercial projects. To explore the latest wave of new storytelling tools, Shefelman is taking advantage of the release time granted by the Center for Innovation at FIT to create an immersive, mixed reality experience of the Naval Lyceum—a former museum founded in 1833 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that housed mummies, texts, letters, ship models, and papers. Those artifacts were moved to the National Archive, Naval Archive at Annapolis, and the Smithsonian Institution. Shefelman plans to rebuild this Lyceum in a virtual space, connected to the metaverse, where students, faculty, and the general public can visit, exploring and contributing to the artifacts and information once housed there. This structure is modeled on the original idea of the Lyceum as a club, salon, school, and collaborative space where officers (and even non-member sailors) would come to add to the collection and learn by studying what was collected there. Using the latest hardware and software for creating blended-reality content, he will bring viewers inside the Lyceum to experience this former institution in a new light.

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