An interactive story centered around a growing tree
Artist Maarten Baas (http://maartenbaas.com/200-years/the-tree-trunk-chair/) created the conceptual tree trunk chair, which grows around a mold to reveal a chair when cut down after 200 years. Since it will take two centuries before the actual chair can be shown, Maarten Baas contacted the Dutch broadcasting Agency VPRO to showcase the chair at the Dutch Design Week 2016 in Eindhoven.
Being storytellers at heart, the VPRO created an audio play that we transformed into an interactive HoloLens experience. In 7 minutes the user is guided through 5 scenes, all showing different time periods in the tree's life. Throughout it all the passage of time is visualized by seeing the tree grow in front of your eyes. When the tree is finally cut down, you have the opportunity to actually sit in the chair. Onlookers see a different kind of performance art: you interacting with imaginary things in an empty grey room.
The constant aspect in the story is the tree, which is visible at all times. The tree is completely procedurally generated which allowed us to animate the passage of time in a subtle but clearly visible way. In between scenes we simulate a season passing by dropping and regrowing the leaves, accompanied by a growth spurt to fast forward the user to another time. Virtual actors and objects appear around the user in each scene with 3D audio and visual indicators guiding the user's attention to where the scene plays out. Despite that the user is always free to look where they want and interact with whichever element they choose.