Virtual Reality as Visual Storytelling - Design Week Open House


Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of co-hosting a Design Week Portland open house with our office mates, Manifesto. It was a rainy Wednesday when we propped the door, opened the bar, started the music, and powered up the VR.

The loose theme for the open house was Storytelling, which is an aspect of our work that we have in common with Manifesto. The narrative development of our projects frequently evolves in tandem with the creation of a 3D scene model. In other words, when you spend hours digitally building a crime scene from the ground up, it allows you a unique perspective on what allegedly happened there.

Fat Pencil has dabbled in augmented and virtual reality in the past, and we always enjoy the chance to share our past projects. For the Design Week open house, we offered folks a menu of SketchUp models they could step into: a construction site, a Pearl District crime scene, a bus-vs-pedestrian crash, a shootout, a murder by machete, and a pagoda/Hogwarts/Eden Project just-for-fun model.

In sharing both a space and an event with Manifesto, we hosted a fun and diverse cross-section of Portland’s design community: entrepreneurs, students, marketers, design enthusiasts, composers, and so many more. Thank you to everyone who came out!

Cheers to Manifesto for all of their efforts, Widmer for the drinks, and Friend of the Studio Cole for loaning us his HTC Vive for the evening!

Yana Stannik was a Designer and Senior Designer at Fat Pencil Studio from 2017-2022.