AMA: CONSTRUCTING MEMORY
AMA Constructing Memory is an Interactive Art Book that Commemorates the victims of the Massacre perpetuated by the Nicaraguan Government in April of 2018. The Book utilizes easy to access AR technology that allows the readers to place a replica of the altars erected by the families of the victims creating a space for grieve or remembrance.
• Immersive Design
• Creative Technology
• Technical R&D
• User Flow Design
Tools & Techniques
• Meta SparkAR
• Adobe CC
• 3D modeling & Rendering
Augmented Reality • Interactive Art Book • Social Justice
Experience Designer • AR Developer • Animator
Asociación de Madres de Abril
How can we design AR to be intuitive and accessible for users with varying levels of technological proficiency?
Is it possible to use Social AR in meaningful way to explore complex subjects?
How to balance interactivity and a respectful representation of a sensitive subject matter in a AR Experience?
AN ITINERANT MUSEUM AND A SACRED SPACE
AMA AR interactive Art book, makes part of a larger ecosystem within AMA, an organization and collaborative process that seeks to dignify the victims of state violence in Nicaragua as of April 2018, and to honor their memory. The purpose behind the Interactive Art Book is to create an itinerant platform that works as a standalone experience that allow the readers to get full context of what happened in Nicaragua during April of 2018.
AN INTERACTIVE SACRED SPACE
In every step of the design process, our team placed utmost importance on respecting the memories of the victims and their families. We carefully considered how every interaction could impact the emotional experience of the user, and how to best honor the memory of the victims.
Choosing target tracking as the AR trigger was a key decision in this direction. We wanted to ensure that users had some understanding of the profound context surrounding the altars before they began interacting with them. By doing this, we created an environment where the experience was grounded in respect and understanding, rather than mere novelty.
In addition, we designed the AR altars to be scalable to allow for a variety of use cases. This adaptability meant that whether the altar was being viewed on a small table or in a larger exhibition space, the scale could be adjusted accordingly. This helped us maintain the solemnity and dignity of the altars in every context.
Finally, we introduced a 'secret' feature that allowed users to light a candle on the altar with a simple tap. This feature, while subtle, provided a deeply personal form of interaction and commemoration. It was our hope that this feature would offer users a moment of reflection and a meaningful connection to the victims we were honoring.
2023 American Institute of Graphic Arts. AIGA: A Year in Design Award
2023 SIMA Award: Social Impact Media Awards
2023 SIMA Award: Creative Advocacy
2023 SIMA Award: Journalistic Achievement
2022 Artizen Social Impact Award
TouchDesigner Installation Artists
Meta Spark Development Assistance
Alanna Cassias Foilose
Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero
SparkAR Design and Artwork
Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero
3D Modeling and Textures
Augmented Reality Creative Production
Emilia Yang Rappaccioli
VIEW FULL CREDIT LIST
TECHNOLOGY FOR MEMORY
One of the unique challenges of AMA was to build an experience that could be accessible for a wide range of users: Families of the Victims, Nicaraguans nationals and expats, as well as academics and Human Rights activist across the world. Our target user familiarity with AR and technical proficiency ranged from unexperienced to developer. To work around we created a seamless user flow from offline to online interactions, that made the transition to AR feel natural and expected.
We also made sure to include clear instructions on how to access the AR component in the physical book and used a 'reference ghost image' in the AR experience to guide users towards correct image scanning. Furthermore, we chose to use target tracking, which we found to be a more intuitive scanning process than other methods (Specifically world tracking where there can be a long setup process). Interactions were kept simple, with the most advanced user actions (such as scaling and dragging) considered non-essential to the core experience and thus not explicitly instructed.
SOCIAL AR FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
Once we determined that our user flow around Target Tracking, we needed to determine where the Augmented Reality Experience (ARE) would reside. Developing a custom App was beyond our intended scope and would introduce unnecessary complications. While WebAR seemed appealing, it was too expensive for our budget.
Consequently, we opted for Social AR, which is familiar to most users. Our usage data indicated that Facebook remains the most popular Social Media Platform in Latin America, while Instagram appeals to expats or scholars outside the region. With this in mind, we chose SparkAR as our creation tool. After deciding to host the experience on Instagram and Facebook, our main challenge was optimization. Each altar consists of over 20 objects captured through photogrammetry. To ensure the Altars fit within the 4 MB limitations of IG Filters, we had to significantly optimize the 3D models and textures. Additionally, we used visual scripting to drive all animated features instead of baking them in.
They thought that they killed you when they shouted ‘Fire!’
They thought they buried you
But what they did
was bury a seed"
– Ernesto Cardenal“Epitaph for the grave of Adolfo Baéz Bone,” 1948