For his senior thesis in graphic design, Drexel University student Mike Garzarelli wanted to explore the idea of creating a digital experience that would encourage exploration of a physical environment. He chose cryptozoology as a topic because it is mysterious field that is highly dependent on people interacting with the environment through photography and video.
The outcome of Garzarelli’s work is CRYPTO, an exhibit that explores cryptozoology and the discovery of cryptids through an interactive iPad experience triggered by sensors embedded in the physical space. Visitors are introduced to the topic and invited to utilize their devices to “discover” the hidden animals. When cryptids are “discovered” by the iPads, pulsing concentric bands are projected on the wall in the vicinity of the animal, the details of which are revealed on the iPad. The visitor is then encouraged to learn more about the myths and legends that are associated with the particular cryptid.
The physical space was interpreted with multi-leveled supergraphics to create a dimensional backdrop for the pulsing concentric bands projected on the wall and the dynamic graphics revealed on the iPad. The iPad screen is visually layered on the wall exhibition by the viewer. The wall counter to the right dynamically registers the number of cryptic sightings. The app allows the viewer to continue to investigate the topic even after they have left the exhibition.
Bill Rees (faculty advisor)