School of machines, making & make–believe

What is reality? How can a deeper grasp of what is real inform how we craft experiences in augmented and virtual worlds? And how can we use AR to make the invisible visible - bringing to light the hidden narratives around us?

  • / 4. June - 29. June 2018

  • / four weeks, full-time in Berlin, Germany

  • / 10-15 participants accepted

  • / Based in LIEBIG12


Reality? is intensive four-week program led by artist and educator Chris Sugrue, and members of NEEEU, a spatial experience design studio newly opened in Berlin.

Compelling us all is an interest in creatively exploring the potentials of augmented reality through a myriad of critical, conceptual, and hands-on approaches.

Augmented Reality can inspire new forms of interactive experiences, artistic creation and storytelling. What can we add or augment to our surroundings to develop new narratives about the ecosystems, communities, and coexistences that permeate our lives? What forms of play and togetherness might we be able to build? Could AR be used to empower us by making relevant information more accessible?

Course Description

Augmented Reality (AR) refers to a suit of technologies that overlay computer generated imagery on top of the "real" world. In addition to superimposing images and 3D models over the camera feed, these toolkits offer the opportunity to map physical spaces, understand ambient lighting and track the position of a phone in space. Pokemon Go used these techniques to capture the public interest and brought AR into the mainstream, but it begs the question, what else can we do with this technology?

These techniques are just a starting point for what may be possible. There is much experimentation to be done by utilising the other capabilities of handheld devices to stream live data, communicate with others, and incorporate information from from built in sensors.

Although various types of augmented reality systems have existed for some time, recent advances in mobile technology platforms provide us more powerful ways of creating and sharing these experiences with a wider audience. So as the technology is advancing, what happens when we bring conceptual ideas and criticality to the fore?

The primary tools of this program will be Unity 3D and Openframeworks. We will work with the ARKit and Vuforia libraries. As we engage the potential of these new tools, we will also take a critical perspective discussing the shortcomings and challenges of future technologies. No previous experience in augmented reality required.


  • Artist / Student (Full Time)*

  • Women and persons from LGBTQ+ and other under-represented communities in the tech field highly encouraged to apply!

    *Includes in-class materials, use of space, and professional mentorship

    Note: If you'd like us to seek out your accommodation for the month, please add €525 to the above fee.

In this course, you will be introduced to

- Creative development with Unity3D*
- Introduction to ARKit (iOS) and Vuforia*
- Scripting in Unity3D to create interactivity*
- Intro to ARKit in OpenFrameworks*
- Attaching virtual objects to real images (posters, paintings, etc.)*
- Creating interactive AR spaces (creating, moving, deleting objects)*
- Recording and placing sounds inside a virtual AR space*
- Designing an AR space that can be shared and explored with multiple people at the same time*
- Building a mixed reality experience blending AR and a physical animatronic character or toy*
- Critical and conceptual development of projects*
- Preparing a final showcase of work / collectively-created interacive experience*
- An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators
- *No previous experience necessary

Course Outline

Week 1: Introductions, concepts, narratives, play, and critical discourse.

Week 2: Tools and techniques for creating interactive AR experiences in Unity

Week 3: Advanced tools and Techniques for creating interactive AR experiences in Unity and OpenFrameworks

Week 4: Projects for final exhibition

Who is this program for?

This workshop is geared toward anyone involved in creative projects (designers, makers, artists, musicians, performers etc.) that wish to begin incorporating interactive augmented reality experiences into their work or practice. The course approaches AR from an introductory level. A basic knowledge of programming (in any language/platform) is encouraged *but not required*.

Related Links

Why mobile AR matters?
Critical Role of Artists Advancing AR
Artist uses iphone to visualise sounds in AR
Guerilla AR Exhibit at MoMA
Alt FAQ!

Friends in Virtual Reality is a collective exhibition inside Tilt Brush organized by artist Tartaruga Feliz.

AR experiments at Berlin's Bode Museum by Tartaruga Feliz.

Aero One is an augmented reality app developed by NEEEU that let's you begin to reimagine the way you interact with the world around you.

Latest experiments from NEEEU on photogrammetry and networking phones together to created shared and permanent augmented reality worlds.



  • Chris Sugrue /

    Chris Sugrue is an artist and programmer developing interactive installations, audio-visual performances and experimental interfaces. Her works experiment with technology in playful and curious ways and investigate topics such as artificial life, eye-tracking and optical illusions. She has exhibited internationally in such festivals and galleries as Ars Electronica, Sónar Festival, Pixel Gallery, Medialab-Prado, Matadero Madrid, and La Noche En Blanco Madrid.

    Sugrue’s interactive installation, Delicate Boundaries received an honorary mention from Vida Art and Artificial Life Awards and first prize from Share Festival. In 2009, she collaborated to help develop the EyeWriter, a low-cost eye controlled drawing tool for ALS patients. The EyeWriter was honored with Design of the Year award for interactive category, the Future Everything Award, and a Golden Nica from Ars Electronica.

    Sugrue holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. She has worked as a creative engineer at the Ars Electronica Futurelab where she was the lead interaction developer for a stereoscopic interactive dance performance with artist and choreographer Klaus Obermaier. Sugrue was the recipient of a year-long fellowship at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York, and has held artist residencies with Hangar in Barcelona, La Casa De Velázquez in Madrid and Harvestworks in New York. She has taught courses in the Design and Technology department at Parsons School of Design, the Interface Culture program at the KunstUniversität in Linz, Austria, and numerous workshops on visual and creative programming.

  • Raphaël de Courville /

    Raphaël de Courville is a media artist, and educator based in Berlin. Prior to co-founding NEEEU, Raphaël worked for ART+COM where he led a prototyping and R&D space focused on ambient interaction. He has also been hosting the Creative Code Berlin meetups since 2013. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Akademie der Künste (Berlin), White Night (Brighton), Collegium Hungaricum (Berlin).

  • Stef Tervelde /

    Stef Tervelde is a graduate of Interaction Design at ArtEZ Academy of Art Arnhem with a passion for all things digital. He uses code to design processes for quick iteration and design as a tool to look critically at the technologies that he creates. He is currently part of the team at NEEEU.

  • Guest instructors / artists

  • Zach Lieberman/

    Zach Lieberman is an artist, professor and creative programmer with a simple goal: to surprise people. He creates performances and installations that take human gesture as input and amplify them in different ways – making drawings come to life, imagining what the voice might look like if we could see it, or even transforming people's silhouettes into music.

    He is one of the creators of openFrameworks, an open source toolkit for creative coding, and founder of the School for Poetic Computation, a combination of school, artistic residence and research centre based in New York, where the lyrical possibilities of code are examined.

    Fast Company magazine featured him in the Most Creative People's list, Ars Electronica awarded him several Golden Nica, London's Design Museum awarded him the Interactive Design of the Year award, and Time magazine highlighted his project Eye Writer as one of the best inventions of 2010.

    Lieberman's installations, daily digital drafts in Instagram, and augmented reality pieces start in a simple way – with a line of code that comes to life.

  • Deborah Rodriguez /

    Deborah ‘Tartaruga Feliz’ (happy turtle) uses character design to alter her environment and reveal the silver lining inside every moment. Exploring art and technology, she is focused on bringing more empathy and love to the world. She has started to give workshops mostly with children in very different parts of the planet, passing on her values and exploring the intersection of learning, interaction, and play as a path to strengthen creativity. She is currently involved in a research program on Virtual Reality and childhood at the University of Sheffield.