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Taste Museum

Spring 2018

Dan Lockton
In this project, I design and protoype a VR environment that seeks to communicate the complexities of someone’s taste by creating a metaphorical museum full of relevant collections of items, books, etc.

It was also a project where I started thinking deeply about growing in my skills in 3D Interaction Design!


I’ve always struggled to make my portfolio because I could never clearly communicate the complexity of my personality and creativity through the current paradigm.

I am fascinated by the ways creativity and taste are related. In the past several years, I’ve noticed a general decrease in the publication of original content and thoughts among my peers, and a much sharper rise in the careful curation and collection of existing content. It made me wonder if this is the new way of communicating creativity!

My hypothesis is that a collection can be interpreted as not only a sample of taste, but also a language in itself—a repository of inspiration that can be called upon to explain and clarify obscure concepts. And furthermore, the language becomes the way to think and perceive the world. If designers are viewed by these languages, perhaps many good things could follow.

Diagram of heiarchy of collections
Nature of Collections—

When studying collections, I realized that there seemed to be different tiers of collections, each one offering more richness than the previous. Ultimately, I wanted to create through my prototype a “dynamic collection system,” where there is a collection of collections, but each item can also be tied to items in other collections, adding a cohesion between all collections. In environments such as museums, we don’t have much of this, as each collection exists almost in isolation, where the connection between them is purely location-based.

Onboarding space


I decided that the onboarding was a necessary experience from my visits to the museum. It prevents visitors from being overwhelmed and grounds them in proper and controlled expectations.

Honestly, I didn’t put too much thought into this. The main points I wanted to get across were the purpose of this museum environment as well as the navigation paradigm. I wanted to explain a bit about the information architecture of the collections in the museum, but that is still to be fully determined.

Home Base

Home Base—

This framework is also relatively simple. In most complex environments, you will have a central hub through which you can access more specific rooms. Think about a train station, for example. I figured it would be convenient to have a central hub you can access at any given time, where you can enter any of my predetermined collections.

Collection Example.

The sentiment that I am aiming for is for someone to understand more of who I am by seeing the combination of things I consume!
Collection Example—

There are several components to a specific collection. One is the environment it exists in. I think the background of each collection could be an excellent indicator to the actual environment in which this collection might live, either physically or digitally. There might be a cohesion formed through the place in which some things exist.

I realized that there could be more thought in the way these books are arranged. Instead of a static grid floating in space, they could be more engaged with the environment, and be more a part of it.

The last thing is the description/ informational side. Each item has a brief annotation/commentary on its significance, and furthermore has other related items in other collections. I think this is important because suddenly, multiple collections become connected more deeply, further realizing my earlier point about a “dynamic collection system.”

What I learned—

I had a very difficult time during this project to arrive at the correct scope and channel through which to portray my thoughts and ideas. I had a rich and enjoyable time talking to my professor about these concepts on a high-level, but converting those thoughts into a tangible experience was challenging. I hope that in the future, I can come to more concrete decisions more quickly, so I can have more time to iterate and experiment with how those ideas manifest.

I also hoped to have a much higher fidelity of a prototype, as I do believe my blocky and repetitive forms might deter the level of legitimacy of the presentation. During the presentations, I appreciated when people were able to frame their projects in the context that it was given, and prepare their prototypes to look and behave like a real thing.

You can find more information and research for this project here.