Meta-Universe Project Team|Yifang Su--"Age of Living Things" Discursive Design

Project Background


We live in an expanded world that includes the coexistence of real and virtual scenarios. At the same time, the world of communication, dominated by image culture, is transforming into an interactive world in a digitally driven society. As science and technology reach a singularity moment, the Metaverse is revolutionizing the future of society with its unique characteristics. As a new type of Internet application and social form generated by integrating new technologies such as blockchain, Metaverse will bring new opportunities and development, both in the development of new scenarios, new products and services in future digital life and in the upgrading of digitalization, networking and intelligent transformation.
The metaverse is a term used to describe the future iteration of the Internet, consisting of persistent, shared three-dimensional virtual spaces that are linked into a perceptible virtual universe - the next generation of the "physical Internet".
The metaverse breaks the limitations of space and may allow most people to experience world travel virtually, interacting with family members in distant countries with high quality; or learn new technologies directly in a virtual environment, practicing until they master the right way.
In this collective virtual shared space that transcends geographical limitations, we focus our research on a multi-user virtual environment in which users create three-dimensional environments and objects and interact in them with virtual avatars, with the aim of giving experiencers a first-hand experience of the culture and historical heritage of science and technology through architectural composition and historical evolution scenario construction.

Project Description

Metaverse Capsule

This project is led by the Design Future Group of Tsinghua University's Academy of Fine Arts, and aims to explore how the metaverse changes the way we connect, perceive and experience the world around us by constructing a metaverse science popularization vehicle "capsule capsule", trying to refract reality, experience reality, shape reality, improve reality in virtual space, and provide solutions to realistic challenges through virtual experiments. We try to refract reality, experience it, shape it, improve it, and provide solutions to realistic challenges through virtual experiments. Metaverse-related technologies are currently being used in architectural real estate demonstrations, industrial manufacturing processes, and medical research.
We will use the "capsule capsule" carrier and the VR, AR and MR technologies covered by XR to continuously explore the practical application scenarios of the metaverse, so that the experiencer can enter different scenarios and life areas with a new digital identity and interact with different characters, environments and objects, thus studying the new digital civilization generated by the virtual fusion space.
At the same time, we will improve the mobility and accessibility of the capsule, so that more users can have access to the metaverse technology and try to explore whether we can find the entry point to the educational metaverse by improving the physical quality and experience in the virtual world.

 ✦ Author Bio

Su Yi Fang

Tsinghua University, College of Fine Arts, Class of 2018, Department of Information Art and Design

In 2018, he entered the Department of Information Art and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts, Tsinghua University, where he studied Information Art and Design. In 2022, he designed his undergraduate project "The Age of Living Things" as a work of discursive design, under the supervision of Professor Fu Zhiyong.

Interview Content

When did you first become involved with the metaverse?

My interest in the metaverse began with the game Fortnite, and I was impressed when a friend who was playing Fortnite in 2020 shared with me his experience of a Travis Scott online concert in Fortnite, and in 2021 the concept of the metaverse exploded and the Fortnite online concert was mentioned repeatedly on social media as a prime example. It was repeatedly mentioned in social media.


Why did you choose to do this project?
During my undergraduate studies, I was first introduced to Discursive Design in Mr. Fu Zhiyong's course, and after the course lectures and group work, I gained a preliminary understanding of Discursive Design. I am interested in futurology and future technology, and I hope to think about future life forms and related technological and ethical issues in my final project, so I chose Discursive Design as a tool to think about these issues and present my ideas in the form of discursive objects.

Figure 1 "Age of Living Things" discursive objects and corresponding timeline

As a background in information art and design, how do you define a meta-universe builder?

Nowadays, we can see that many designers in the field of art and design are already designing through the concept of metaverse, and the major of information art and design is a comprehensive major with a wide range of knowledge. Based on the more advanced and mature technology and equipment, designers can realize more potential in experience design and create a more immersive metaverse experience.

✦ Work Focus

What materials and works have inspired you in the creative process?

My most frequent reference in the creative process was Anthony Dunn and Fiona Raby's book Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, and the explanation of physical props in this book helped me to understand more about discursive design in the process of designing discursive objects. The book's explanation of physical props helped me to understand more about discursive design in the process of designing discursive objects. The hypothetical parallel world is one of the attractions of discursive design for me, and discursive objects need to fit into a simulated worldview while maintaining a subtle connection to the real world. The book's explanation of discursive objects provides me with a "yardstick" for validating object design in the creative process.

Why choose AR to present discursive objects?

In my opinion, AR is a very favorable means of display to create a sense of unreality. The display of simulated images of discursive objects based on a real physical space can satisfy two aspects at the same time: the realism of the discursive design in relation to the real world and the unreality of the distance from the real world.
In some typical cases of discursive design, the use of physical prop photography or other imagery with a sense of realism to display discursive objects is a very common presentation method. The physical space of AR recognition provides a realistic space to serve as a support for the discursive objects, and the model display of the discursive objects can weaken the sense of realism to reflect the unreality of the props.

On the other hand, AR brings a viewing experience with a sense of immersion that is difficult to achieve with traditional video presentations, and such a display method is conducive to displaying discursive objects that may not be easy to handle, such as some relatively abstract objects or objects that need to reflect a sense of volume, AR is undoubtedly a stable and rich display solution.

Figure 2 AR function initial test screenshots and AR effect

Figure 2 AR function initial test screenshots and AR effect

This graduation creation allowed me to further deepen my thinking about the future of technology, and also allowed me to gain more experience in the application of some thinking methods. It is rather regrettable that the offline exhibition cancelled due to the epidemic, the actual audience feedback I got for my AR display solution was rather limited, and there is still more room for improvement in the experience-related design.

Fig. 3 Effect of online display of graduation design

What is your favorite metaverse designer/work? How do you get inspired to create?

The work that impressed me more recently was Cai's latest NFT work, Your Daylight Flame. Unlike Cai's previous NFT works, in the Your Daylight Flame project he allows collectors to have an immersive experience with deep interactive participation.
The project artificially sets up the "Tsai Calendar" as the basis for the fireworks display time, and sells a total of 7,000 "fireworks packs", each of which can be used to set off The project website will be updated daily with the location, weather, and local regulations for the 90 days of the "Cai Calendar" (45 days in real time), and collectors with "fireworks packs" will be able to select any of these days based on this information. Collectors with a "fireworks package" can choose any of these days to set off their "fireworks package".

Figure 4 Cai Guo-Qiang, YourDaytimeFireworks, 2022

In the future, how does metaverse creation relate to personal development paths?

The current level of development of metaverse is still far from the final form of metaverse we envision, but now we can see a large amount of capital pouring into the construction and development of metaverse, which is a good trend for creators who want to devote themselves to the construction of metaverse. For the creators, metaverse creation requires a broader vision and interdisciplinary knowledge, as well as a keen sense of future trends.

Introduce a book that you want to read

I have recently been reading Donna Haraway's Apes, Cyborgs, and Women, a collection of Haraway's essays from 1978 to 1989, and I chose to focus on the essay "The Cyborg Manifesto". In this essay, Haraway's "cyborg"-centered perspective provides a path for thinking about issues related to socio-political identity and feminism, and also opens up more possibilities for my understanding of "human beings".

✦✦ Creative Director ✦✦

Fu Zhiyong

✦ Undergraduate team ✦

Li Yuelin
Liu Zigai
Xu Han
Su Yi Fang
Shu Yufan
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