Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Reverence and Reference: Meaning in Virtual Reality
Julieta Aguilera
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
University of Notre Dame
Thesis Supervisor
John Francis Sherman
Supervisor e-mail
jsherman AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Jean Dibble, Martina Lopez
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Art, Art History & Design
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Spanish, French
URL where full thesis can be found
VR, Design, Language, Representation
Abstract: 200-500 words
Virtual Reality(VR), just as any representation, doesn't necessarily imply aresemblance to an actual place. Any representation in this sense proposes a virtualexperience. As a designer, what I would like to create is a journey through an idea in avisual space that is readable, rather than touchable. A journey from a more abstractapproach where the concept evolves through looking and reflecting in an experience of contemplation that is both aesthetic and spiritual.As a contemplative experience, I conceive virtual reality design as following thesame path as Orthodox Icons and Japanese Gardens. Orthodox Icons are a virtual presence(western spirituality) that embodies meaning while Japanese Gardens are virtualenvironments (eastern spirituality) which allow the traveler to be immersed in meaning.New tools of language move toward increasing complexity and questions aboutusing VR as a tool for representation arise. What are the considerations that define anexperience of Virtual Reality as representation?In my current work, VR images unfold over time like a poem. This iscommunicated by the use of three metaphors related to space and time: the house, thelabyrinth and the cycle. The house represents the self that is able to make connections tounderstand; the labyrinth is the environment that one never perceives as a whole; and thecycle creates the awareness of time having passed that defines a moment of completionwhere we look back once we recognize the beginning.