Semi Ryu, Associate Professor, Kinetic Imaging


Stefano Faralli, PhD, Professor, Computer Science, The University of Rome Unitelma Sapienza, Italy
Tracey Gendron, PhD, Associate Professor, Gerontology
Brookdale Gayton Terrace Senior Living Center

Memory recall through virtual puppetry

VoicingElder is an expressive storytelling platform, designed by media artist Semi Ryu, who specializes in experimental 3D animations and virtual puppetry. Combining reminiscence therapy with virtual interactive puppets, the project facilitates a deeper understanding of self worth. The virtual puppets take the form of digital avatars with lip synchronization, body detection and sentimental response, to help older adults recall their distant memories, feelings, and hidden emotions in their storytelling.

Animated figures each depicting a different age starting with childhood and progressing through older adulthood

This project intersects many fields of study and fosters interdisciplinary collaboration between art, gerontology, occupational therapy, social work and computer science. VoicingElder enables older adults to give new voice to their own stories, exploring a rich state of mixed reality and consciousness.

This project was made possible by a 2014 VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund grant.