Virtual Herbaria - MidJourney, Augmented Reality and Game Engine

Workshop 07 - Bpro - UCL Bartlett - 20223 - London

Virtual Herbaria questions the way we visualize and utilize large data sets, archives, and libraries. With today’s technologies we have access to an infinite amount of online data, and years of archives and knowledge at our fingertips. Algorithms that can sort, search through, and identify hierarchy in that data are becoming extremely valuable because they are able to tell apart correct information from construct. In the last few years, we have seen the backlash of manipulated content, and the potency of fictitious representation. We are calling representation, reality, and artifice into question. With the catastrophic repercussions of the Crypto-Market on our environment, we will address climate change in the Anthropocene through the lens of Andrea Wulf in her book ‘The invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World’ and the work of Heide Hatry in her series “Not a Rose.” We are putting our preconceived understanding of nature and technology under scrutiny.

We will be studying the Online Herbarium of the Southern Californian Desert, more specifically in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Virtual Herbaria aims at reviving the California Desert Herbarium archive into an immersive experience through spatializing that data. After the Instagram statement that they are a video-based app, and no longer an image-based app, the interactions between user and product have become ever more important. We will use Unity Game Engine to design Virtual Herbaria as an interactive spatial archive where actual and created content will flourish.

We will dive into the exciting world of augmented reality, and games with Unity. We will start by discovering text to AI GANs with MidJourney. We will then learn basic polygon modeling in Blender, and augmented reality workflow with Unity 3D. We will then discover how to model terrain in Unity and get introduced to first person interactive game design by building a first-person game together.


Students work by Bpro - UCL Bartlett - 2023 - London Work by: Yi Qiu, Xiaojing (Ruby) Lin, Kuan (Khiri) He, Xinyang Wan, Kaiyuan Ding, Ji Wu, Sulei (Sue) Huang, Arvind Pulavarty, Yina Zou, I Hsiu Shen, Bingjie Zhang, Silu Yu, Junyan (Dyan) Han, Xinyi Chen, Zhengshen Wang.
Yara Feghali / 2024