Augmented Metropolis

Keiichi Matsuda, a recent graduate—with distinction—from the Bartlett School of Architecture, whose film Domestic Robocop was featured on BLDGBLOG several months ago, has a new project out: Augmented City. And it's in 3D.

The film "focuses on the deprogramming of architecture and the spontaneous creation of customised, aggregated spaces," Matsuda writes. We see its central protagonist surrounded by pop-up menus and projected touchscreens, able to switch urban backgrounds—graffiti to gardens—in an instant. From the project description:
    The architecture of the contemporary city is no longer simply about the physical space of buildings and landscape, more and more it is about the synthetic spaces created by the digital information that we collect, consume and organise; an immersive interface may become as much part of the world we inhabit as the buildings around us.
    Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology defined by its ability to overlay physical space with information. It is part of a paradigm shift that succeeds Virtual Reality; instead of disembodied occupation of virtual worlds, the physical and virtual are seen together as a contiguous, layered and dynamic whole. It may lead to a world where media is indistinguishable from 'reality'. The spatial organisation of data has important implications for architecture, as we re-evaluate the city as an immersive human-computer interface.
The film is even better, Matsuda points out, with 3D glasses. Watch it here, over at Vimeo, or on YouTube.

(Related: Transcendent City).

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Anonymous Agatech said...

Quite an impressive video, it seems that augmented reality is still slowing making an appearance in architectural and other design professions. At Georgia Tech we have some that have been experimenting with it, but implementing it to a level of this much detail just makes you wonder "what if?" Although this particular video is not truly augmented reality since it is not real-time information, the idea is quite inspiring.

August 23, 2010 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Eric Fescenmeyer said...

This is a spectacular video and I believe that we'll soon be faced with such an explosion of personalization. I think it's important to think about how this new landscape of information is going to look to us and to others.

August 24, 2010 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Viktor Larkhill said...

Impressive indeed... obviously dont have 3d glasses at hand but I can imagine.

Its interesting to see how the world of today is becoming more and more like science fiction. If someone had told me not 10 but 5 years ago the stuff that we are able to do today and most importantly, the connections we are able to build, I wouldn't have believed it..

August 26, 2010 6:12 AM  
Blogger Alpha-ville said...

This is a great video and is part of a unique showcase of work by Unit 15 at the Bartlett School of Architecture. This, and other exciting Moving Image pieces will be screened at ALPHA-VILLE, London's new Digital Arts and Culture Festival at the Whitechapel Gallery and Rich Mix Cultural Foundation September 17th & 18th

For more information see us at the following link!

August 27, 2010 10:38 AM  
Blogger getrealstudio said...

This is a great video and it is interesting to see how much has changed since the days of old apple computers and floppy disks and now we have ideas and technologies capable of immersing us in the digital world. One thing is to produce this "sci-fi" esque video but another would be to see how this digital information can actually be merged with the real world. Will we see this layers through special glasses, corneal implants, etc? But the idea is here and from the looks of the video it's amazing. Congrats on such a fantastic project, good too see that Architecture is molding with the future and all these great tools we have available to us.

August 28, 2010 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Filip said...

An interesting interpretation and continuation of the work done by other institutions. Personally I don’t think that it will be this severe since this type augmentation would be quite dangerous when navigating the urban environment, can you imagine the lawsuits? From a graphical UI design it would be too much.

Also I don’t think that people will allow this to happen (in the immediate future anyway) since it raises many questions about privacy (although that is slowly being broken down by Google and Facebook).

There is also the question of the types of gestures used to control this type of UI, I doubt people will be comfortable waving their arms around like lunatics, that interaction will most likely be far more subtle, perhaps with a control mechanism based on an extremely refined and unobtrusive Brain-Machine Interface from Honda or something similar. In comparison this is why devices like bluetooth headsets have failed to gain mainstream traction, it creates too much attention on a piece of technology you can’t see very easily.

I really wish this wasn’t in 3D, if anything it detracts from some really great ideas and the visual polish is ruined by a technological trend that is passed its prime on devices that rely on 3D glasses.

I hope my post doesn’t sound too negative and I don’t want to take away any of the tremendous amount of work that has gone on this this project. The foundation in the building blocks are there. I look forward to seeing some more great ideas and visuals ideas.

September 03, 2010 5:09 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

It's in 4-D, actually.

November 03, 2010 4:50 PM  

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