We are defined by our memories and experiences. Despite the proliferation of family photos and video media, we lack an engaging way to connect our memories and experiences to those images. Online genealogical programs (such as Ancestry, MyHeritage, or FamilySearch) remain two-dimensional and inherently confusing to navigate. As soon as the user chooses to dive more deeply into one relative’s additional family, they leave the view they were in and cannot easily navigate back, or even see themselves in context any longer. Similarly, image archiving programs (such as Apple Photos, Shutterfly) or AmazonPhotos) are simplistic and rely on a strictly linear organization, or visual categorization, and are also 2-dimensional.


The evolution of Astralis began with the idea of combining an imageable and navigable genealogical interface with an image and document storage and access function that would let anyone immediately and intuitively explore both their extended family as well as those people’s memories. Create a genealogical interface that allows you to browse in VR, using three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional systems to interact with the hierarchies of both genealogical and image information. The result is an immersive, interactive experience that allows a personal, intimate connection to memories and significant moments, in a searchable, archival format.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Genealogy--Interactive multimedia--Design; Virtual reality--Design; Images, Photographic--Databases--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Mike Strobert

Advisor/Committee Member

Adam Smith


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes