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Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc)

Liana O'Cleirigh

Liana is an Immersive Interaction Designer with a knack for blending the tangible with the immersive, adding a spark of fun to all her work. Before GID, Liana completed a bachelor's degree in Interaction Design from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. Liana draws on her lengthy experience in broadcasting to bring a lively streak of storytelling to all her work.


Awards & Features:

Immerse UK Grand Prize & Jury Prize Award (2023)

Irish Designers Institute Graduate Award (2021)

RSA Student Design Award & Fellowship (2021)

RCA Grand Challenge Finalist (2022)

Global Design Graduate Show Finalist (2021)


BA Interaction Design (2018 - 2021, 1st Class Hons), NCAD. Dublin, Ireland.

Exchange Partners:

Keio Graduate School of Media Design. Tokyo, Japan. (Technology, Media, Futures, Robots)

Pratt Institute. NY, USA. (Products, Aesthetics, Craft, Making)


10+ years in broadcast television.

A photo of the designer, Liana O'Cleirigh, smiling to camera.

I'm Liana, an Immersive Interaction Designer exploring the nexus of immersive technologies and tangibility, and I'm delighted to showcase a selection of works below.

I’ve spent the last two years researching, experimenting with, and prototyping for near-eye displays, and I love to collaborate with diverse creative teams. During my time in GID, I've been given the opportunity to engage with four vastly different institutions and a diverse variety of collaborators that would not have been possible otherwise.

These projects showcase a specific through-line in my creative journey. It begins (in reverse order) with exploring potential near-future scenarios where technology amplifies existing abusive work practices with Panopti. But also explores how emerging technologies might be used for good, with Pearl. Over time, my vision sharpened into a strong stance on the level of user control that should be designed into immersive tech, as evidenced in Input=Output. And finally, Narrative Realms reveals a more optimistic stance on the role new innovations could play in mediating creative work.

With over a decade of experience in broadcast television, I have witnessed the culturally transformative power of representation through storytelling and strive to bring narrative to all my work, and I'm always curious to discover existing and new relationships that can be enriched with technology.

A woman holding a digital microphone. POV directly from a HoloLens. Holding a card that reads "Act 2: Into the depths".
Actual HoloLens footage of collaborative storytelling.

Turn creative block into Creative Bounce.

Creative Bounce is a collaborative and synchronous flow state. That sweet spot you get into when you connect with someone on a creative level and work really well together. It’s a whole body experience that encompasses deep flow and interpersonal synchrony.

Writers have all kinds of ways of instigating that creative tennis match with one another in order to enrich the stories they tell, because they know that working with others can elevate our creative ideas. However, sparking Creative Bounce can often be challenging, leading to creative block. Narrative Realms turns creative block into Creative Bounce.

Extensive ethnographic research has led to the creation of Narrative Realms, an augmented reality application built for the HoloLens 2 to foster Creative Bounce between writers, featuring an intuitive and tactile environment grounded in established writing frameworks. Initial development involved physical prototyping and user feedback to ensure writers remained an integral part of the design process.

Narrative Realms immerses you in the narrative you craft as you write, in an innovative story engine designed to spark collaboration and unleash your creative flow. Dive into dynamic narrative frameworks, visualise and interact with abstract story elements, and embrace the Creative Bounce.

A woman moving a digital card in space with her hands.
Actual footage from Immerse UK Awards demo.
Testing for Narrative Realms is still ongoing.
Two people wearing AR headsets collaboratively writing in AR.
Footage from user tests with creative writers.
Footage from the mid-fi user tests.
I conducted a user study involving professional writers and non-writers who completed a validated flow-state questionnaire from the Positive Psychology Lab. The generally positive scores suggest that the application is useful in cultivating a sense of flow in users. This is a key finding as flow is something writers strive for to overcome writer's block.
insights wheel.
Semi-structured interviews gleaned in-depth insights into the writing process.
How narrative Realms works.
How Narrative Realms works.
4) By rearranging ideas, you can construct rich and complex narratives. You can visualize multiple timelines or chapter headings, subheadings, and events. 5) It allows us to think with our hands tand on our feet, and encourages tangible idea sharing and enhancing others' ideas in real-time. This platform supports both in-person and remote collaboration across various devices. 6) Then when youre done, Simply hit ‘Export’ to share your complete story as a PDF to the Narrative Realms website.
The lo-fi prototype
Prototyping for AR is challenging, but the learnings from Input=Output greatly informed this project. I built a low fidelity prototyping environment for Narrative Realms to quickly test mechanics.
A box with "Input output starter kit" written on it. A hand holds the box in front of a brick wall.

A tangible prototyping toolkit, giving designers the freedom to explore new kinds of interactions for smart glasses.

Interaction designers love making quick, rough prototypes to get fast feedback on ideas.

Smart glasses pose a unique challenge to designers.Because only the wearer can see and interact with a design, an iterative design process can be slow and clunky. 

From paper prototyping to Arduino; designers have devised lots of fun and innovative ways to quickly prototype their ideas for all kinds of technologies. However, prototyping for smart glasses remains difficult.

Most (if not all) smart glasses on the market rely on inadequate and extremely limited touchpad and voice controls. Designers cannot prototype early or make fast changes based on a user’s feedback, and they cannot explore new and exciting kinds of interactions.

Input=Output gives designers the freedom to explore new kinds of interactions for smart glasses allowing them to make quick and informed decisions early in the design process.

The starter kit comes with a range of fun tactile inputs and outputs to inspire you to get prototyping, and with access to free online resources for you to discover, 3D print and modify.

Happy prototyping!

*With special thanks to Jahan Daya, Thao Ha, Mariam Ibrahim, Xin Wen, Natalie Ni Chleirigh & Massi Truzzi.

images of an open box with kit pieces inside.
A tangible prototyping toolkit, giving designers the freedom to explore new kinds of interactions for smart glasses.
Workshops in progress.
I ran a workshop with different kinds of tactile inputs, acrylic outputs representing digital screens, and chalk markers. And I gave participants 20 minutes and a design brief. 
How might I help designers quickly prototype tactile interactions for smart glasses?
The contents of the kit.

A VR experience that encourages gamers to train real ocean-faring cameras to identify and categorise ocean waste.

By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight, further destroying its fragile ecosystem. We crested Pearl to empower communities to engage purposefully with one of the largest environmental challenges our oceans face.

We aim to create a new digital ocean economy to fund a network of cleanup organisations and ensure that existing waste is taken out of the ocean, using data captured by the Royal College of Art's NEMO cameras aboard Extreme E's St. Helena ship.

Pearl; The wisdom of crowds.

Presented at:

NeoCon 2022


RCA Grand Challenge 2022

A render of two people wearing VR headsets standing in front of a floating building.
Pearl relies of the 'Wisdom of crowds' theory, to accurately identify sources of waste.

Pearl is a community-driven VR experience that incentivises players to train the NEMO AI to identify waste, and generate unique digital art which players can purchase and display in the virtual 'Pearl Waste Park'. Each transaction earns money for ocean cleanup organisations near where the waste was found.

A Zoom call, the participant is looking at their phone.

Keep an eye on them.

Panopti is a satirical spyware desk companion that forces engagement from WFH employees on work calls by watching, listening to, and nudging you regularly.

a close up of Panopti
Panopti's mischief
Mischief matrix
a zoom call. All the participants turn their cameras off.