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id acadia19_310
authors Leblanc, Maxime; Vardouli, Theodora
year 2019
title Bursting the Bubble
source ACADIA 19:UBIQUITY AND AUTONOMY [Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 978-0-578-59179-7] (The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, Austin, Texas 21-26 October, 2019) pp. 310-319
summary The “bubble" is an oft-used keyword in discussions about Virtual Reality (VR) and Virtual Environments (VE). Apart from pointing to the growing, yet precarious, rise of these domains in technology markets, the “bubble" is also a prolific metaphor for spatial, experiential, and technical aspects of virtual worlds. Combining material from architectural history and history of computing, this paper situates and critically activates two threads of the “bubble" metaphor: the bubble as a closed, autonomous system severed from its surroundings, and the bubble as an ubiquitous, limitless environment. Through historical episodes from the development of Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), the paper positions current VR HDMs into a genealogy of miniaturization of actual architectural “bubbles”— from military simulation domes to wearable “micro environments”—and examines the techniques that support the illusion of these closed, autonomous worlds as limitless and ubiquitous. The paper concludes with the description of a critical design project that exposes the limits of VR's limitless worlds and the role of context (physical, architectural) in both making and breaking the VR bubble.
series ACADIA
type normal paper
email maxime.leblanc2@mail.mcgill.ca
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last changed 2019/12/18 08:03
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