Maciej Czuchryta

Faculty of Stage Design

VR level design based on the novel ‘Kappa’ by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

degree piece done alongside with Marta Wieczorek

The authors’ fascination with the possibilities offered by new technologies resulted in the degree piece inspired by the novel Kappa by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. Designed as a VR experience, it takes us to a created world that is depicted shortly after an unspecified destruction. In the presented ‘museum of an extinct civilisation’, the recipient can look at the burning problems of the present day as in a mirror.

Born 1994. Studies: Faculty of Stage Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2014–2020). Winner of the scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Stage designer and costume designer; he has collaborated with leading Polish theatrical directors.

He has been working together with Marta Wieczorek for several years, creating the nōgraphy collective. As artists, they take an interest in issues concerning the dematerialisation of stage design and the impact on the spectator’s perception by means of new technologies. On the basis of their film and theatrical experience, they look for unique stage solutions, colliding the latest technological trends with conventional stage design.

VR level design based on the novel ‘Kappa’ by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

supervisor: Dr hab. Katarzyna Proniewska-Mazurek, Assoc. Prof.

The master’s degree piece of Ms Marta Wieczorek and Mr Maciej Czuchryta is the first diploma project using VR tools at the Faculty of Stage Design. This design was based on the text of Kappa by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. The Japanese writer’s short story transfers us to the Japanese reality of the second half of the 1920s – to a world of developing aggressive capitalism and advancing fascism. The diagnoses of the aforementioned formations contained in it helped degree candidates to create a sort of dystopian vision of reality inspired by the alarming phenomena of the contemporary world.

When observing the creation of the degree piece of Ms Marta Wieczorek and Mr Maciej Czuchryta, their great commitment and determination shown at every stage of mutual actions: from searching for the topic, the decision-making process regarding the tools used, the construction of a substantive base and an apt analysis of the text, searching for an inspiration and an artistic vision of the design, then the sketching of a map of the virtual world into which they intended to introduce the recipient and, finally, whole weeks spent on the creation of digital reality, one could be sure that success is almost inscribed in the ‘genotype’ of the nōgraphy collective formed by them.