Two Books I ALWAYS Suggest to VR Creatives

VR is a 3d medium.  That doesn't mean that it's harder or better or worse than any 2d medium, it's just different.

Unfortunately, practically all of the VR / UX community comes 2d backgrounds.  Whether that be video games, web / app dev, cinema, cg, etc., these fields are concerned with engaging users across 2d media.

I've noticed myself frequently suggesting two books to help people flip their brains to start thinking three-dimensionally.  I figured I'd share them on my blog as well.


The Body has a Mind of its Own

This book is so perfect for VR / AR work.  It lays the groundwork of how people perceive their bodies, and what meaning they can extract from that.  It talks about how we incorporate tools as a part of our body image, as well as explains how some of these systems can be fooled and why these tricks work.

The reason this is always my first suggestion is because the inclusion of the body is precisely what makes VR / AR from any other digital media.  VR / AR fuses the body with digital 3d spaces, and what's so exciting about the concept of immersion is the idea that the body can be fooled to experience virtual 3d things in substantive ways, that we can draw physical meaning from these experiences, and that we can extend our impulses and intentions through our bodies into the digital realm.

So, yeah, anyway, please read it.  It's totally totally amazing.


101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

One of the painful things about the third dimension is that scale is fluid.  IOW, in 2d, your canvas is confined by a frame.  This isn't an afterthought in 2d compositional theory -- the frame is central to 2d compositional theory.  In 3d compositional theory, however, you want to design spaces that provide many scales through which to experience a space.

Architecture is one of those fields that is really complicated and difficult precisely because of this reason.  Architects are required to design that account for so many weird things: bodies, governmental agencies, cars, gazes, celestial bodies, electricity, rainfall.  Architects enjoy wrestling with competing frames and massaging them all into a cohesive, singular design.

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School is a condensed overview of a field of study that takes decades to master.  The "101 Things" feel like they're the foundational truths upon which all other modern architectural theory rests.  Full disclosure, I know very little actual architectural theory.  I only say these things because these nuggets of wisdom have been hugely helpful for me over the years in considering the organization of 3d spaces and critical 3d thinking.


One more Suggestion: pick up a 3d practice

My non-book advice is practice a 3d craft... something that involves no screens at all (dance, pottery, interior design, etc).  Self-aware practice is way more enlightening than whatever it is a book can teach you.  I'll prolly write more about why I think this is so important in another post at some time, but for now, get those two books and just start practicing something new.