Beyond the Lab 2022

Elevate AR

What is the Beyond the Lab program?

The Beyond the Lab program is an extension of the Humanities Lab, and more specifically faculty-student team collaborations. Beyond the Lab is designed to support students who wish to further develop their Lab’s impact outcomes beyond the semester’s end, with the mentorship, guidance and expertise of the faculty.

Beyond the Lab 2022 – Elevate AR

A team of students from the Humanities Lab Fall 2021 – Humanizing Digital Culture Lab, inspired by their introduction to "distributed, place-based" experiences in the original Lab, decided to break new ground by developing a software toolkit for creating AR—augmented reality—stories that use any elevator car as a "digital window" into another world. With funding from Seize the Moment, an initiative of Leonardo, the Humanities Lab and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, the group aimed to ultimately publish an ElevateAR platform that any artist can use to create these immersive experiences.

Altogether, the team consisted of:

  • Joshua Zito, a Graphic Information Technology MS (Branding and Visual Design Exploration, User Experience Design and Prototyping, Developer Search and Hiring)
  • Daniel Tucker, an Organizational Leadership BA (Organizational Leadership, Narrative Consultation and Development)
  • Jason Robinson, a Public Interest Technology MS (Product and Design Consultation, Product Management, Event Production)
  • Lexi Nelson, a Digital Audiences BS (Narrative Consultation and Development)
  • Shashank Reddy Baradi, a Computer Science MS (Augmented Reality Application Development)
  • Tim Neal, a Computer Science MS (Augmented Reality Application Development)

With consultation and advising from:

  • David Harris, a New Media Artist & Researcher (Product and Design Consultation)
  • Dasha Kittredge, Creative Director of Metaforyou (Narrative Consultation and Development)
  • Dr. Monica Boyd, Humanities Lab Sr. Program Coordinator (Faculty Advisor)

See below for the overview, process, and final outcome of the project.


Elevate AR began in the Fall 2021 Humanizing Digital Culture Lab as a proposal to actualize the Lab's goal of "humanizing digital culture." After the Lab's conclusion, four students from the original project—Joshua Zito, Daniel Tucker, Jason Robinson, and Lexi Nelson—applied for and were awarded a Beyond the Lab Fellowship to extend their impact outcome into a real AR application. Here, they pitched the main goal of their outcome: to "[create] an extended reality embodied gallery experience—setting curated stories from artists across the globe against the familiar rhythms of your own environment."


The students hired two developers—Shashank Reddy Baradi and Tim Neal—and two professional consultants—David Harris and Dasha Kittredge—before splitting into specialized projects. Juggling technical, administrative, logistical, and creative challenges, the team eventually succeeded in assembling story pitches, a wireframe prototype, a recognizable brand, and working iOS prototypes.

Final Outcome

Project In Action