Beyond the Frame

Beyond the Frame is an interactive virtual tool for the presentation of images from the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections.

January - May 2021

Project Overview

"Beyond the Frame" is an interactive virtual tool designed to showcase images from the Smithsonian's Open Access collections. This innovative exhibit takes natural landscape paintings and transforms them into immersive three-dimensional spaces. Users have the opportunity to step into these paintings, immersing themselves in the artists' interpretations of the natural world.


VR Development
Visual design
Product design

Key Goals

"Beyond the Frame" aims to deliver meaningful and impactful interactions by:

  • Connecting users with historic and geographic places through nature, art, and artifacts.
  • Enhancing users' appreciation and understanding of their connections to the world.
  • Engaging users with artworks through new platforms, creating personal and connected experiences.
  • Providing contextual information about the artist, represented space, artistic approach, and technique.
  • Encouraging learning through free exploration and actively lived experiences for better information retention.

Design Process

Conceptualization and Research:The project's journey began with conceptualization and in-depth research to determine how to create meaningful interactions with a museum's digital asset collection. This phase laid the foundation for the immersive experience "Beyond the Frame" would offer.

Asset Selection and Generation:Once the project's direction was established, the next step involved selecting 2D landscapes from the Smithsonian's Open Access collection. These artworks served as the raw materials for the immersive experience. To bring these 2D images to life, you transformed them into stereoscopic images, creating depth and dimension. This process involved breaking down the paintings into layers, allowing for a more immersive and interactive experience.

Development with A-Frame:The core of "Beyond the Frame" came to life through coding with A-Frame, an open-source web framework for constructing virtual-reality experiences. A-Frame allowed for the creation of an in-browser experience that could be accessed on various devices, including computers, smartphones, and virtual headsets. This development phase involved translating your vision and assets into a tangible and interactive virtual world.

Testing and Iteration:The development phase was followed by rigorous testing and iteration. Ensuring that the experience was both engaging and instructive required fine-tuning various aspects. User feedback played a critical role in refining the project and optimizing the user's journey through the immersive landscapes.

Presentation and Future Directions:"Beyond the Frame" represents a successful merging of technology and art, allowing users to explore history and culture in a unique way. This project provides users with a more profound connection to the world's natural landscapes and the artists who captured them. As "Beyond the Frame" continues to grow, it offers exciting prospects for expanding the map to include more scenes and locations, bringing even more users into this world of immersive art and history.

Universal Connectivity

"Beyond the Frame" explores a narrative of global connectivity by focusing on the universal aspects of land, sky, sun, and moon that connect all people, regardless of cultural differences. The project aspires to bridge these shared human experiences from a deep connection with nature.

Accessibility Focus

"Beyond the Frame" was developed with accessibility in mind, aiming to open doors to those who may not have access to physical museums:

  • The experience is highly accessible, as it can be joined by anyone with internet access.
  • Users can explore 3D worlds from the comfort and safety of their own homes, accessible from all corners of the globe.
  • While it may be less immersive due to browser or mobile phone screen constraints, its accessibility makes it available to a broader audience.


Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop


Zevensuy Rodriguez
Lucia Williams
Karen Mathews


Grant Awardee - UM XR Initiative Student Competition 2022

Best XR Experience - University of Miami Canes Film Festival 2021

Arts Program Selected Feature - LALIFF