This Kaleidoscopic Exhibition Explores How Augmented Reality Will Alter Buildings, IRL and via URL

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Shown at Stockholm’s ArkDes this fall and now available online, Value in the Virtual explores how our everyday experiences of the built environment will be changed through virtual and augmented reality.

What does it mean for a place to exist in the digital age? A growing expanse of virtual environments mapped onto physical spaces means that our cities are increasingly existing through multiple planes—through Google Street Views and Instagram geotags and Sansar hangout spaces. Through these, the built environment is adapted, augmented, and fragmented: A virtual environment mapped onto the dimensions of Times Square might evolve into a flourishing public space through a virtual reality (VR) platform. Or it might be abandoned, left unchanged for years leaving looping ads for long lost McDonald’s meal deals for adrift avatars.

Architects are beginning to take these possibilities seriously. As builders of space and the spatial systems through which we live our lives, designers are, as ever, uniquely positioned to have an active role in how VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies might shape our quotidian lives. Which is just what Value in the Virtual at ArkDes, Sweden’s national museum for architecture and design, sought to explore…

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