Lecture #01: Andrey Sudarikov – playdisplay

Andrey Sudarikov is from Russia and the founder and creative director of the design studio PlayDisplay which is based in Moscow. In the lecture, he talked about three of his projects and the design processes behind. Two of the projects were made for Singapore, in 2016 and 2020. The third project was made for Russia. The story of the projects begins much earlier before starting the project. For him, the start of the projects is the point where you start to collaborate with the client. Word of mouth is important. Usually, the client already knows some of your projects or something about you before he/she gets into contact with you. Also, people remember how the work process was with you and how the results turned out and they will tell it to other people if they are asked about the project. Most of Andrey Sudarikovs projects came about, because of some previous, older projects.

Project 1: Let your colours take flight

The first project is an augmented reality plane installation. You could draw a plane, put it on the table and then there was a camera scanning the picture. The installation automatically made a perspective transformation and put the texture on the 3D model. The 3D model with the drawing appeared on a screen. The same installation was also made another time in Chicago. One of the many visitors there was the CEO of Changi Airport in Singapore. He liked the project so much that he decided two years later that he wanted the team to create something similar for the airport in Singapore, too. Before doing the plane installation, Andrey Sudarikov already worked with augmented reality with car albums, made with the program Unity. For the plane installation, the team needed to find a trick, because it wasn’t working with PC, only with mobile devices. The project for Singapore should show the whole airport so they needed to create a model. Due to a lack of time, they took models from a flying simulator and redesigned them. Three screens were used for the project so that many people can look at the screens at the same time. An advice is to set up the right brightness on the screens depending on the brightness of the surroundings.

Project 2: Interactive trampoline

The second project was an interactive trampoline which already existed for the S7 airline in Russia in 2015. The team wanted to adapt it for the Changi Airport and make it even better than it was in the first project. You could jump on a trampoline and collect miles and convert it to bonuses on your real card. It only took a few seconds till the CEO of Changi Airport in Singapore decided that he wants this kind of project. In the game, you can jump through the most interesting areas of Changi Airport. There was a problem before the first exhibition and it took some time till the team figured out what was going on. Hundreds of people came with their phones and bluetooth switched on, but the HTC Vive tracker needed to send data via bluetooth to the PC and it didn’t work. So they put the sensor closer. Andrey Sudarikov gives the advice that when planning a project, the conditions should be as close to the real conditions as possible. Andrey Sudarikov also said that he is fascinated by the personality of the CEO, because he has a lot or pressure on him because of his job, but still manages to look how the project is going, give helpful feedback and is easy-going and open-minded. He talks to the prime minister of Singapore in the same way as he talks to the technical guy of the team of Andrey Sudarikov and gives the same attention and kindness.

Project 3: Panoramic projection show

For the third project, the team was asked to make an old museum more interesting for its visitors. This museum is in Volgagrad and covers the history of the battle of Stalingrad. The team came up with the idea of a circle projection that showed the buildings, cars, people like it was back then. The sounddesign of the installation is very powerful. Interestingly, the people are static in the animation, because the animation would have taken a lot of time and entailed higher costs for the client. It gives a special style to the project. „Less ressources, more results“, Andrey Sudarikov said. The whole project took approximately one week to render with Renderfarm, 4 months of preparation and 3 months working on it.

This lecture was really interesting for me, because it gave a good overview about how augmented reality and interactive systems can be used in projects and how much of an impact they can have.  Additionally, I liked that the process was explained in its details and also the problems that were faced and the solutions and what the team could learn from it. Also, I think this lecture showed how much social interactions and sympathy influence our work too. If people like you as a person AND you deliver great work, then they’re more likely to work with you for another project. It’s not always just about the work, it’s also about being human and kind to one another. Furthermore, I’m really interested in intercultural work and the people from Russia and Singapore have a quite different cultural background and mindset and they still managed to work nicely together and communicate effectively. This is what also fascinates me about the projects –  the work across cultural boundaries.