Primate Quest

Recent NYU research proposes that over evolutionary time, diet drives larger brain size in primates — not social pressures as originally thought. Learn how these findings might apply to humans, who like our primate cousins have exceptionally large brains, too!

Unity | Kinect | AfterEffects | Premiere | p5.js | Javascript libraries | Serial Communication | Illustrator

What is Primate Quest? 

Primate Quest: Food, Brains and Evolution is a public interactive exhibit based on new research from NYU’s Primatology Lab. You can find out your primate identity by exploring how diet relates to brain size.

This project was created with my amazing group members Vidia Anindhita, Ella Chung, and Haiyi Huang for a class at ITP at NYU called Playful Communication of Serious Research. The goal of the class is for graduate students to create an exhibit of new NYU research.

Our Researcher: Alex DeCasien

PhD student at NYU’s Primatology Lab

Alex conducted this new and groundbreaking research. She and her colleagues used larger data sets and newer methodologies now available to scientists. They discovered that primate brain size is predicted by diet but not sociality.

“Differences in diet, not sociality, explain differences in brain size between primate species.”

Creative Process

Stage 1 – Conceptual Package

Our group proposed our Conceptual Package to the class.
This included sketches, diagrams, and existing imagery to help convey the form and feeling of our ideas.
It also described the message, audience and form factors of the project.

Stage 2 – Schematic Package

We then delivered our Schematic Package. We invested time in planning the different pieces of our exhibit. We focused on the interaction design, physical and digital interface design, schedules, and cost.
We created user-flow diagrams, systems diagrams, and a schedule of work broken down for each team member.

Stage 3 – Production

Over 6 weeks we managed to produce everything we planned and more!
We prioritized testing hardware and sensor options while building circuits, developing Unity codes, creating unique assets, fabricating enclosures, and writing exhibit text.

Stage 4 – Playtesting

We conducted two intensive playtests with complete setups in a classroom. We documented with video and written notes. Each time we consolidated user feedback into lists that we could prioritize and make actionable.

Meet the Team

Vidia Anindhita

UI/UX designer and researcher. Journey experience and game wireframes. Super Unity Coder with Kinect!

Elizabeth Ferguson

Our Editor. Game UI/UX wireframes and assets, Exhibit graphics and text, Arduino serial communication.

Haiyi Huang

The Game Animator in Unity. Built the Brain Kioski. Study architecture but super fond of AfterEffects!

Ella Chung

Co-creator, Concept development, Unity Coder and Exhibit Graphics Designer, photographer, videographer! This website coder!

Brain Interactive 

Diet Interactive 

Special thanks to my best team, Brett (best teacher!)
and who helped us make it possible!

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