Santra Navas is a digital director and speculative storyteller. Her professional engagements and academic training in design, digital technologies and human psychology brew together to find innovative solutions to key societal issues. Prior to joining RCA, Santra worked as lead designer and assistant art director for an interactive mural company called Mural Lingo in Singapore. During this time she had the opportunity to design and direct ‘Echoes’, an interactive spatial design for Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Santra has worked with other notable organisations including Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), KPMG, Johnson and Johnson. Santra is currently working on Maia, an immersive narrative driven platform that aims to redefine virtual social interactions. Team Maia is collaborating with artists, technologists, storytellers, musicians and others to host events, exhibitions and conferences.
The physical body can transcend its limitations by utilising digital tools, making room for other realities, allowing one to question, destroy and reconstruct ideologies beyond our immediate environment. My works are an endeavour and encouragement in this direction.
Tamar is an immersive VR journey coupled with a conversational agent that takes viewers through an entity’s experience of anguish and empowerment. The project uses autoethnography as a research method and builds a fictional world in order to process trauma induced by sexual violence.
Tamar’s world consists of two philosophical components, Vedana and Samatha. Vedana, (the Sanskrit word for ‘anguish’), is the recreation of the traumatic incident, hosting the pain and the perpetrator within a darkened shadow of red light. ‘Samatha’, (the Sanskrit term for the ‘obtainment of bliss’), is a spirited other-worldly forest consisting of mystical orbs that Tamar considers serene and tranquil. This space is determined to take Tamar away from Vedana’s anguish. As the camera pans through Samatha, it reaches a small puddle of water, reflecting a red moon signifying the dichotomous relationship between Vedana and Samatha.
An interactive version of Tamar features a chatbot that narrates Tamar's story, explaining their journey and nudging the viewer to create their own Samatha.
Medium:Blender, Premiere Pro, A-Frame, Reaper
During the collective threat posed by COVID-19 we seek digital unity and companionship. PH706 is an immersive and narrative-driven virtual club that invites us to experience raves and parties beyond our immediate physical realms.
The entertainment sector was particularly affected by COVID-19, with clubs and bars struggling to survive as they depend heavily on social gatherings. This led us to create PH706 - an immersive narrative-driven party that can host up to 50 people.
The environment consists of four interconnected virtual spaces, music and avatars, and uses 360° navigation and positional audio. Our virtual club explores new types of clubbing experiences, what they mean to us, and how important they might become in the emerging digital reality of a rapidly changing post-pandemic world.
Medium:A-frame, Cinema 4D, Blender, Premiere pro, Reaper
House of 7 is a speculative fiction that narrates the story of 8-year-old H’uit, who lives within an 8 member family household. The project explores the representation of homes, environments and worlds, reimagining how we live and love together beyond traditional notions of family and gender stereotypes.