Place-based news and information has entered a new reality – augmented reality. Students enrolled in Communication Studies’ new course “Citizen Media” created augmented reality posters about a local social issue or concern, which are on display at study tables on all levels of LMU’s Hannon Library.
The course is a new interdisciplinary course shared between Communication Studies and the Journalism program, and is taught by Professor Matt Dewey. Students looked at issues of media access and participation in the production of information by non-professionals and activists. Selected topics included gentrification in Portland, street vendors’ legal rights in Los Angeles and pollution in the ocean on the Oregon coast.
Dewey encouraged students to think about news that mattered to a local community and create hyper-local media texts that would be put in the physical space of that location. Students then used an app called Artivive to design a poster that turned their augmented reality experience into a 45 second video.
Daelyn Newman ’21, a journalism major, created the media text about gentrification in her home town of Portland. Her poster includes a map of a traditionally Black Portland neighborhood that gives viewers a free tour of the area and tells a hidden history. According to Dewey, the goal was to re-imagine a neighborhood that has been devastated by gentrification.
Another student, Catherine Kennedy, created an augmented reality experience about domestic violence awareness on LMU’s campus. Kennedy is a senior communication studies major with a minor in public relations.
“Violence against women is so pervasive, and as a college student, I feel it is very important within my community that survivors of instances of assault or intimate partner violence are acquainted with the resources they deserve to move forward,” Kennedy said. “The focus of my project was to bring awareness to the fact that there are likely survivors within our community and to try and better connect students to safe and informative resources that they could extend to themselves or others.”
To view the exhibits, there are plastic display cases placed on the study tables in the library. Viewers can open the Artivive app on their mobile device and scan the poster to watch and listen to a short video.
“The augmented reality experience in the library mimics how you would come across one of these pieces of media text in your local community,” Dewey said. “I’m really excited to have this collaboration with the library and continue to display student work. It’s been a way to show the LMU student body what kinds of things we’re doing in the Communication Studies Department.”
Along with bringing awareness to the LMU community, the augmented reality displays have been fulfilling for the students who created them to see, especially since they created them during a semester of online classes.
“Walking around the library and seeing my work, I feel like I was able to complete the goal of this project, which was to help provide information to members of my community where I felt like more resources were needed,” Kennedy said. “I really hope that my project has helped to spread awareness and information to help students and survivors know that they are not alone.”
View five student virtual posters below.
- “Just Because You are Vaxed, Doesn’t Mean You Get to Stop Wearing Your Mask” by Lindsey Woods.
- “Protect, Support Street Vendors” by Daniella Cornejo.
- “This Neighborhood Once Looked Like Me” by Daelyn Newman.
- “1 in 3 Women Experience Intimate Partner Violence Globally” by Catherine Kennedy.
- “Plenty of Fish in the Sea?” by Accalia Rositani.