record

Thesis Info

LABS ID
00002
Title
A Procedural Model for the Integration of Physical and Cyberspaces in Architecture
Author
Peter Anders
2nd Author
NULL
3rd Author
NULL
Degree
Ph.D.
Year
2003
Number of Pages
NULL
University
University of Plymouth
Thesis Supervisor
Roy Ascott
Supervisor e-mail
NULL
Other Supervisor(s)
Michael Phillips, Michael Punt
Language(s) of Thesis
English
Department / Discipline
Department of Computer Sciences, Planetary Collegium Centre, Architecture/Design
Languages Familiar to Author
English, German
URL where full thesis can be found
NULL
Keywords
cyberspace, mixed reality, architecture, art, virtual reality, design, augmented reality, design computing
Abstract: 200-400 words
Abstract This dissertation articulates opportunities offered by architectural computation,in particular the digital simulation of space known as virtual reality (VR) and its networked, social variant cyberspace. Research suggests that environments that hybridize technologies call for a conception of space as information, i.e. space is both a product of and tool for cognition. The thesis proposes a model whereby architecture can employ this concept of space in creating hybrids that integrate physical and cyberspaces.The dissertation presents important developments in architectural computation that disclose concepts and values that contrast with orthodox practice. Virtual reality and cyberspace, the foci of this inquiry, are seen to embody the more problematic aspects of these developments. They also raise a question of redundancy: If a simulation is good enough, do we still need to build? This question, raised early in the 1990’s, is explored through a thought experiment – the Library Paradox – which is assessed and critiqued for its idealistic premises. Still, as technology matures and simulations become more realistic the challenge posed by VR/cyberspace to architecture only becomes more pressing. If the case for virtual idealism seems only to be strengthened by technological and cultural trends, it would seem that a virtual architecture should have been well established in the decade since its introduction.Yet a history of the virtual idealist argument discloses the many difficulties faced by virtual architects. These include differences between idealist and professional practitioners, the failure of technology to achieve its proponents’ claims, and confusion over the meaning of virtual architecture among both architects and clients. However, the dissertation also cites the success of virtual architecture in other fields – Human Computer Interface design, digital games, and Computer Supported Collaborative Work – and notes that their adoption of space derives from practice within each discipline. It then proposes that the matter of VR/cyberspace be addressed from within the practice of architecture, a strategy meant to balance the theoretical/academic inclination of previous efforts in this field.The dissertation pursues an assessment that reveals latent, accepted virtualities in design methodologies, instrumentation, and the notations of architectural practices. Of special importance is a spatial database that now pervades the design and construction processes. The unity of this database, effectively a project’s cyberspace, and its material counterpart is the subject of the remainder of the dissertation. Such compositions of physical and cyberspaces are herein called cybrids. The dissertation examines current technologies that cybridize architecture and information technology, and proposes their integration within cybrid wholes. The concept of cybrids is articulated in seven principles that are applied in a case study for the design for the Planetary Collegium. The project is presented and critiqued on the basis of these seven principles. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of possible effects of cybrids upon architecture and contemporary culture.