Columbia DSL
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Columbia DSL

Where There’s Smoke is a live doc meets immersive theatre experience meets escape room — its marks the most personal work I’ve ever attempted to create.

Taking the leap: embracing vulnerability when prototyping immersive stories

Fire school training — firefighters set and extinguish blazes

My dad was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years and an amateur fire photographer who shot thousands of slides of things in various states of burning.

Keeping it analog

Sometimes the “tasks” required to save someone can overshadow the very humanity that’s needed to help them die with dignity.

Attempting to find the human experience prior to considering the technology — participants take part in a prototyping session at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on August 1st (Photo credit Christina Elizabeth Hall)

It’s all about the human experience

  1. What resonates and why?
  2. What moments grant agency and why?
  3. When are people collaborating and why?
  4. When are people working individually and why?
  5. What’s confusing and why?
  6. What’s fun and why?

Think, Feel, Do

Example of documentation from My Sky is Falling an early project from the Columbia DSL. Visit to read additional documentation.

Prototypes can evoke emotion

I went into the evening with a test of 9 fragments that make up the current experience.




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lance weiler

Storyteller working with Code - Founding member & Director of the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab - curates @creativemachines