Interview with Xin Feng from United States

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July 13, 2023
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July 14, 2023

Xin Feng

Xin Feng has always known herself to be a creative/designer since early childhood as she found great joy in exploring and creating new things. That very passion has led her to a position at Meta Reality Labs as a creative technologist/engineer!

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Xin Feng

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

I am passionate about creative technology and design on individual well-being including health, cognition, emotion and social relationships, and interested in bridging physical and virtual worlds through XR and other new modalities. My work was nominated by MUSE Creative Awards, Non-Architecture and exhibited in Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.

I am currently a creative technologist/engineer at Meta Reality Labs, where I work on the design and implementation of VR related user-facing features. Prior to Meta, I worked at Tencent game studio as a technical artist/engineer, specializing in Houdini generative design for a 3A IP game and delivering human-centered gameplay experience.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
I wanted to be a creative/ designer in my childhood. I simply enjoy exploring and creating new things. My education back in design school has shaped my design focus on human and constant exposure to creative design from peers and industry experience is the driving force for me to continue on this path.
3What does “creativity” mean to you?
For me, creativity means an original way of thinking, a novel idea and an “unexpected” mode of interaction. Instead of being a reproduction of currently explored realms, a creative work makes itself heard through its imagination, ingenuity and vision.
4To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
I believe that a “creative” idea/design is composed of a clear and novel design logic, a rich and meaningful human experience and also feasible implementation.
5Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

From my experience, my creative/ design process is deeply rooted in everyday life. A design work usually starts with some speculations on existing user experiences (how we interact with the surroundings). Through further exploration and brainstorming, I come up with some ideas for specific audiences and then I craft the design with multimedia/technology.

Last but not the least, I will make sure the design is delivered as expected to the audience through some design iterations.

6What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
Brainstorming is my favorite part of the process because I am able to think out of the box with no boundaries. It’s very crucial for the subsequent process as it opens up new possibilities.
7Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
My creative style always starts from "un-groundedness" but gradually ground it to real human interaction with tangible interface. The main characteristics for my creative style or what I care the most are creative design ideas and novel human interaction paradigms.
8Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?
Born and raised in China, I was exposed to a lot of traditional Chinese culture and arts during my childhood. The energy and rhythm embedded in Chinese calligraphy and painting made me realize the connection between human and the surrounding environment. This thinking has curated a sense of curiosity and interest in my everyday life and played an important role in my creation process.
9Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
It’s a valuable affirmation for our creative work and we are honored to be selected as part of this award distinction, especially as independent designers. A shout-out to my amazing teammate, Tiange! We will continue exploring and delivering creative work.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

SinkInSync presents the design and prototype of a VR-based cross-person EEG neurofeedback platform. This generative VR platform uses one user’s brainwave data to procedurally render 3D scenes and passively displays visual cues that are synchronized with the real-time brainwave frequency to another user.

We found this project very interesting and ground-breaking as we aim to explore the potential of VR as an avenue for augmenting cognitive and emotional social connectedness via externally-induced brainwave synchronization between pairs of individuals. The technologies in fostering interpersonal connections without using the common tool of speech is our main focus in the project. How biometric data could add to the channels of communication and help improve accessibility is a relatively untouched area and we believe our project could be inspiring for the creative industry.

11What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge with this project is the 3D scene design phase. How to embed neuro signals in a visual, artistic way without impairing the frequency functionality of the brainwave is pretty challenging.
12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning a professional award means a lot to my career as an independent creative technologist. It provided motivation for me to continue exploring creative design with emerging technology like AI etc. and focus more on inspiring interaction paradigms!
13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
ha moment, dynamism, imagination!
14Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
For me, the evolution of the creative industry is always closely tied with the development of technology and biology. Nowadays, we are witnessing an explosion of AI technology and creativity seems to be constantly redefined by technology, so I would see the creative industry and technology closely interlinked and complementary in the coming years.
15If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Check out the fabulous work of others on the website, discover what intrigues you most and figure out your own creative process. Keep iterating and make sure the design is well delivered to the audience.
16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
Checking out resources like new technology, newly published articles and creative work from awards would be helpful.
17Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
Go with your gut feeling!
18Who has inspired you in your life and why?
I am always inspired by the talented people in school and from the industry. I like visiting exhibitions, browsing creative design work online, reading articles to get exposed to the inspiring design prompts and new technologies.
19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I believe interest and passion are the key to success. Always keep the passion for exploring new things and don't hesitate to get your hands dirty!

Winning Entry

SinkInSync | 2023

SinkInSync | Tiange Wang and Xin Feng
People tend to synchronize heart rates, breathing and neural rhythms during intimate physical and emotional ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Xin Feng

Xin Feng has always known herself to be a creative/designer since early childhood as she found great joy in exploring and creating new things. That very passion has led her to a position at Meta Reality Labs as a creative technologist/engineer!

Read more about this interview with Antoni Barakat from Lebanon, the Silver Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.