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Experience Design

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Project-Based Courses & Events 

Each semester in the experience design program involves a new project and a new experience. Below is a sampling of events that were designed as part of Special Topics courses, EXD 101 courses and EXD Outreach courses. Some events were collaborations of two or more courses, which allowed students to achieve a common goal while capitalizing on each other's knowledge, skills and creativity. 


A Walk Through Rio

The rainforest-themed event "A Walk Through Rio" educated visitors on the culture of Rio de Janeiro. It included Brazilian food, dance and sports as well as an immersive "rainforest" that featured live birds and interactive activities about the area's wildlife.


Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe

Titled "Pickpockets, Peddlers and Prestige: London 1670," this event was an immersive recreation of the streets of London. It included lighting effects as well as historic interpreters/actors.


Applied History: Pirates

The goal of “Pirate-palooza” was to teach students about the life of pirates in the 17th century. It involved several interactive stations as well as authentic pirate food and a “pirate ship” and “plank” in the canal. The basement of Schwitzer Student Center was also transformed into an interactive pirate ship.


Victoriana & Steampunk

“You’ve Been Steampunk’d” was an exhibit style event featuring first person interpreters as well as steampunk-themed food. The entire exhibit featured steampunk artwork, some of which was made by the students.


Heroes & Villains

This event, titled “Heroes and Villains: Escape!” was an immersive, scripted team-based competition. This competition included several games and activities as well as first-person interpreters that were based on famous villains throughout pop culture.


The 1920s

"Behind the Roar: 1928" was an immersive recreation of an American city in the 1920s. It included first person interpreters as well as real artifacts from the 1920s and the "premiere" of a student-made, black and white silent film.


Futuristic Worlds

"The Predestination Paradox: An Untimely Situation" was a fully immersive experience that let the audience members take the role of a character in a created world. It was divided into three sections – Utopia, Dystopia and a Time Travel Agency. Each of these areas included first-person interpreters as well as interactive activities, all within a scripted storyline. 


Crusaders' World: Fact & Fiction

"The Crusader's World: A Crossroad of Cultures" was an exhibit-style event that sought to teach about the life and culture of a person alive during the four main Crusades of the Middle Ages. It included a variety of interactive activities as well as third-person demonstrations such as authentic Medieval food, storytelling, weapons demonstrations and games. 


Experience Design Outreach: Hobbit Program

Inspired by The Hobbit, "An Adventure in Middle Earth" was an outreach program in collaboration with Southeast Community Services. It was designed for the 8 to 12-year-old demographic in order to promote literacy and a love of reading through the use of interactive elements such as storytelling, exhibits and craft stations. 


Creating Haunting Experiences

This event, entitled "Southport Zombie Toxin Attraction," was a collaboration with the City of Southport. It included several different Halloween-themed zones along Southport road and within Southport park. 


Themed Dining

The 2014 Social Sciences Banquet was designed with a Wizard of Oz theme, involving appropriately-themed decorations and tablescapes, as well as food that was all named after aspects of the movie. In the hallway outside of the banquet, a large-scale tornado effect was created using projections and fans. 


Green House: Trash Transformed

This event included a 400-square-foot house built out of PVC and filled with upcycled materials. The goal of this event was to show people how they can reuse the things that they usually throw away, in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly. The event was also designed to make students more aware of the recycling and conservation efforts of the UIndy campus. Read more ►


Engaging & Celebrating with the Burmese of Central Indiana

This event was part of a city-wide Sprit and Place Festival. The experience design program partnered with the Burmese-American Community Institute (BACI) of Indianapolis, as well as UIndy's Center for Service Learning and Dr. Heidi Rauch's kinesiology class. There were several speakers, including the traditional song of a Burmese elder, a keynote presentation from Jane Gehlhausen, Indianapolis' director of cultural affairs, a speech by Dr. Tint Swe, a Burmese diplomat, as well as a traditional Chin cultural dance. Kinesiology students were also set up around the room with information about the problems that Burmese refugees face, such as stress relief, preservation of their culture, healthy eating, etc. 


Indiana Historical Society Ugly Sweater and Karaoke Night

This program, which was a collaboration between EXD Outreach and the Indiana Historical Society, challenged guests to create their own ugly sweater and engage in a fun night of karaoke. The event included a hot chocolate bar as well as a Tacky Christmas photo booth in which students could take a humorous picture in their ugly sweaters and tweet it to the IHS.


Experience Design Through the Ages

This event, which was put on by the EXD 480 Special Topics class, was a showcase of the students' projects they had made throughout the semester. The projects were focused on recreating technologies and experiences that were created by experience designers of the past. Showcased projected included a recreation of an arcade peep show from the 1930s, a scale model of a kinetically-operated carousel from the 1910s, a Medieval pull-string jousting knights toy, a magic mirror from the stage magic shows of the 18th century, shadow puppets from Medieval China, and a scale model of the Floating Chariot of Serapis.