Technologies such as augmented reality will not only make virtual objects appear in the real world; they will give us quite different possibilities of playing with reality. Anyone who thought that its practical application was confined simply to apps such as those of IKEA, which place furniture virtually in rooms, has not understood where things are heading. The zombies of the future will no longer be bending over little screens; cocooned in a trance between sleeping and waking, they will be immersed in a world they have designed themselves.
Once we’re beyond virtual furniture placement
Many people have already come into contact with apps which place virtual objects in a room or project images onto an object. Their use is partly practical and partly a source of entertainment. Once you start to interact with these objects, once they are allocated functions which impact on the room, then the matter looks very different.
I am wearing glasses and can decide whether I see an image on the wall before me, a television in operation or an open fire in a fireplace. In future, this will no longer be witchcraft but standard. Endless applications come to mind, but some questions also arise.
Will we lose ourselves in the reality we create?
Will it be possible in future to bring your whole social-media environment into the living room? Will I be able to invite a friend through virtual means to my table? Once the technical possibilities are there, further development depends on content and on adaption by the user. Once the spirits are awake, the living room will rapidly become one great interface, to interact with all possibilities. What Facebook provides in Places can also happen in the living room. Will a new Age of the Zombies come to pass?
Architects must design the new reality!
The concept of reality must be redefined. Architects must prepare themselves so they can play a role in future. At some time or other people will begin to change their living rooms –rather dismal things, on average – according to their taste, through virtual add-ons. The danger is that in this way they will remove themselves ever further from reality, losing themselves in a new virtual world. We must allow new technologies, but we must use them communally and more innovatively than before. Architects must take responsibility to ensure that people feel good at home in future, too.
Visit the next Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main from 9 to 12 January 2018, at which we shall be posing the question of the Finest Interior Award: “What’s real?”
PS: Apply for the Finest Interior Award:contract! The submission date for up to three projects has been extended to 29 September 2017!
The FINEST INTERIOR AWARD was created to honour the work of architects, interior architects and interior decorators and take account of the growing demand for individual and professional contract furnishing. The communicative focal point of this year’s FINEST INTERIOR AWARD is the digitalisation of reality. What impact are virtual reality and augmented reality having on architecture, interior architecture and interior decoration? What changes do they imply for the job descriptions of these professions? And what benefits are they likely to have for consumers? The FINEST INTEROR AWARD will tackle these and other interesting questions in its guest commentaries under the motto ‘What’s real?’.
The award will be presented on the eve of Heimtextil in Frankfurt. During the fair, there will be an information featuring the winners in the foyer of Hall 4.0.