René AR

TimeframeFall 2019
duration2 weeks
RoleDesign & Development
toolsFigmaXcodeSwift + ARKit
00. Overview

I built an AR app that lets the users have an immersive experience with René Magritte's art.

In this quick two-week long project, I made an iOS app in Xcode and Swift that augments elements of René Magritte paintings. Users can also take pictures within the app and read information about the paintings.

01. Ideation


I was at the 2018 René Magritte exhibition at SF MoMA. I was inspired by the AR installations by Frog Design!

René app's functionality

  1. Augment elements of René Magritte paintings.
  2. Take a picture.
  3. Read information about the painting and the artist.

Early sketches

I sketched the app's concept and tried out different navigation structure for the app.

Direction 1

Start with a home screen.

Direction 2

Start with the camera view.

I decided to go with direction 1 to accomodate the information about the artist more easily.

02. Identity

Constructing the visual identity

Inspired by René Magritte's artwork, I designed a visual identity for my app.

App Icon
Launch Screen
03. Design

UI Design

Golconda - Augmented
Golconda - Painting Detail
The Son of Man - Augmented


I made a clickable prototype to check how the interaction flow would work. I showed the prototype to different people and gained feedback.

04. Development

A working iOS app

I built my app with Xcode and Swift ARKit library.

Golconda (1953)

Original Painting

The Son of Man (1964)

Original Painting

Man in a Bowler Hat (1964)

Original Painting
05. Result

People loved my app!

I showed my app to various people and tested it. Everyone had a lot of fun! People who were already familiar with René Magritte's paintings were thrilled to see themselves with the augmented elements, and people who weren't familiar with the original artwork just had fun trying out the different features. They were also excited to learn about the painting and the artist.

06. reflection

I had fun getting my hands on AR and making my own app.

With the abundant documentation and tutorials related to ARKit, creating an iOS app with AR was surprisingly easy. I'd love to take this project further and explore what else I can make with ARKit.

Building a native iOS app

I was able to get a hands-on experience on the workflow of building a native iOS app. I became more familiar with the built-in components available for the developers and the constraints that developers go through when overriding the iOS components. I feel more confident about communicating with the iOS developers!

Next Steps

I'm working on adding more paintings to the app and also publishing the app to the App Store!

The Castle of the Pyrenees (1959)

Original Painting