Art students at Cal State Fullerton are using technology to explore new creative frontiers. Their latest project, the Arboretum, combines artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) to create a virtual garden experience.
Led by a talented team of students, the Arboretum project aims to showcase the unique abilities of designers in the age of innovation. By embracing AI, these students ensure their relevance and importance in an increasingly automated world.
At the core of the project are virtual avatars and charming animal and plant characters that populate the virtual garden. These characters use speech and images to provide information and guidance, catering to a diverse range of users, including those with disabilities. Great care has been taken to create avatars that are relatable and personable, reflecting the diversity of our communities.
The virtual garden comes to life through the integration of AR technology and AI tools. Users can choose an avatar that accompanies them on various paths within the garden. AR technology visually displays maps, tracks users’ locations, and shows the growth of plants. This interactive approach allows users to actively engage in learning activities, collect virtual pins, complete challenges, and share their experiences on social media.
As the students work on the Arboretum project, they gain valuable skills for future careers in design and technology. They learn to create unique prompts and collaborate with AI tools to produce personalized images that reflect their worldview, lifestyle, and aesthetic sensibilities. These critical skills pave the way for roles as user experience designers, AR developers, and digital analysts.
One exceptional student involved in the project is Alex Vu, a senior art student who has demonstrated mastery in using AI in his artwork. Vu’s dedication and skill have earned him an internship with Ingram Micro, where he applied his knowledge to create an AR video. This real-world application of the skills acquired through the Arboretum project showcases the practicality and versatility of this innovative field.
Beyond providing hands-on experience with intelligent tools, the Arboretum project aims to promote environmental awareness and community engagement for a sustainable future. By immersing users in a virtual garden experience, the project fosters a deeper appreciation for nature and understanding of the environment.
Accessing the Arboretum project is as easy as downloading a mobile app or scanning a QR code. Users are transported to a virtual oasis, where they can explore the Fullerton Arboretum from their own homes. The integration of AI and AR technology ensures a seamless and captivating experience, blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds.
As technology shapes the future, the integration of AI and AR into art demonstrates the potential of collaboration between humans and intelligent tools. Instead of replacing artists, AI enhances their creativity and expands their abilities. The Arboretum project is a testament to the symbiotic relationship between art and technology.
Through the Arboretum project, art students at Cal State Fullerton lead the way in design and innovation. By embracing AI and AR, they create captivating experiences that transport users to new realms and inspire a deeper connection with the natural world. As art and technology continue to merge, the possibilities ahead are thrilling and limitless.