Nouvelle réalité – Developing an interest in art for children through a physico-digital experience


Engaging, Expressing

Concept / Professional


Marine Rouit-Leduc, Romain Penchenat


Nouvelle réalité (New reality in French) is an physico-digital exploration project, it is a gateway between physical and digital worlds, aiming to generate artistic interest in children. The augmented reality gaming app reveals artworks from Lego assemblies built by the children. In this first experiment, we explore the De Stijl art movement through three unique art pieces.
Nouvelle réalité aims to:
  • Initiate an interest in art from a young age, by delivering artistic knowledge and stories by gamifying the experience through a reward system.
  • Give new life to traditional games through digital technology by delivering novel interactions to this well known creative system.
  • Develop an eye for graphic compositions by giving access to the most renown artworks though augmented reality.
How Nouvelle réalité works:
0. Setup : Grab your legos and build the phone stand as well as the rest of the playground.
1. Memorize : Pick a challenge and memorise the painting you will have to reproduce.
2. Create : From memory, recreate the artwork within the given time.
3. Discover : Unlock the reward hidden in your creation through stories and augmented reality.
With Nouvelle réalité, you can explore new ways to connect both physical and digital interfaces, while staying true to the needs of children. We strongly believe in the value of education, which brought us to try and help children grow in the physico-digital world we live in.

Project Description

As our world becomes more digital than ever, children are drawn to phones and tablets from an early age. The connection to the physical world and the crafts is getting lost, yet they are becoming more important than ever. Nouvelle réalité aims to recreate an interest to physical games, while accepting the omnipresence of the digital. Merging the building blocks of our childhood with augmented reality allows us to create a unique experience for the child and his parents.

The digital and physical spaces are united, for the paramount purpose of culture, creativity, and art. Working in symbiosis, they give birth to an artistic curiosity in the child.

Every parent wants to see their child thrive in the same physical world they grew up in. Nouvelle réalité acknowledges that, and helps parents usher their children in a transitioning world. Instead of repeating the mistake of opposing physical and digital worlds, we believe interwinding them is a more constructive approach. This contrast between the two is highlighted everywhere, and there is a need for a more educational solution. Taking advantage of the attractive digital devices, and adding the tangibility of physical games, the essence of Nouvelle Réalité was born. The game promotes the idea that the future is not a choice between physical and digital, but simply both at the same time.

Meanwhile, culture is also part of this ongoing transition: how can we build on the knowledge of the past to envision the future? This is why Nouvelle Réalité takes on the art world. Creative children now get an opportunity to sharpen their eye for design. They rediscover masterpieces through their own creations, get in touch with the creative process, and can imagine themselves as the builders of tomorrow.

A construction block can have many uses beyond what is it intended for. Here, we use it as a device holder, an AR-enabled artwork, and possibly many more things. This idea of expanding object’s original purpose can be seen as part of the upcycling, recycling, and second-hand movements. Citizens of tomorrow must get familiar with it. Therefore, Nouvelle réalité reminds his players that an object can have many lives.

The DNA of Meaningful Studio is at the heart of this project: reconsidering the barriers between the physical world and digital interactions. Augmented reality was the perfect medium to bring this dynamic to life, but we’ve had adapt our ambitions to the current state of the technology. Through many experimentations, we found the right balance in between attractiveness and feasibility. By playing with the gyroscope and the camera, we were able to create new interactions like an automated timer mode, interactive 3D memorization models, and augmented reality artworks. Finally, the De Stijl artistic movement was a perfect match to enhance this project.

All of this puts Nouvelle réalité in a new artistic realm, in between digital and physical. This is a place to help children grow, and help the citizens of tomorrow on their path to building a better future.


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