Augmarena  : A Transdimentional Social Network

Cornell University Architecture, Art and Planning

Faculty:           John Zissovici
Degree:           M.S. AAD
Semester:      Fall 2018
Duration:        1 Semester
Software:       Unreal Engine, Processing, After Affects,
                          Premier Pro, Word Processor.
Hardware:     Olympus OMD 10, Drone DJI Spark, Samsung Gear 360
Site :               Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY
Type :             Architecture Research, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality,
                         Technical Image and Nature of Code.
At the turn of 21st century, we embraced the idea of Social network. A system of virtual spaces where we share, chat and interact with our fellow human beings. This space has a major set back that it is detached from reality. It is composed of codes in a digital hemisphere, in Flusser’s term, a Technical Image. We interact in this virtual space using words or texts, compared to emotions, facial expressions, body language and speech in the real world. To interact with this virtual world, we must use a medium I.e. your Phone, Table or PC. And it is this medium that creates a boundary between real and virtual world.

Augmarena is a portmanteau constructed using two words. Augmented reality and Arena (space for an activity). The project aspires to bridge the gap between real and virtual social space, by creating real world as anomalies in the virtual space.

Human beings are one of the most advanced living organisms capable of speech, thinking and imagination. This allows us to interact with our fellow human beings to express our thoughts, emotions, feelings and desires. This resulted in creation of language, poetry, music, film, art, and in recent years the social network. This power allowed our imagination to go wild, that sometimes it was impossible to realize them in reality. Hence, we invented the world of virtual reality, which revolutionized the way we materialize our imagination. We produced games and animations, to realize these impossible dreams of ours. The advancement in technology allowed us to construct virtual spaces in the image of reality. The closer we get to the image of reality, the more detached we get from reality.

We are more reliant on virtual space for both social aspect as well as for their entertainment needs. This brings us to an interesting point in history where everyone holds a device that gives access to this virtual space and the advancement in both hardware ( Nvidia’s Realtime raytracing capable graphic cards) and software capabilities ( advancement of games engines in to other industry like Architecture and product development, which can mimic the reality in virtual space) has pushed the Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology to mainstream.

These recent advancements with projections from media, films and literature. As well as the comfort and satisfaction one gets from constructing the reality on one’s own vision. we can conclude that we are heading in the trajectory of a world governed by virtual space. This allows for an opportunity to rethink and redevelop the ways in which one can interact in this virtual world. With this opportunity I propose to inverse the current reality, where the virtual forms an anomaly in the real world. To create a virtual world and to make reality an anomaly in this virtual space. A space where one would dwell in the perfect virtual world with reality as a reflection in the sky. The reality present constantly if one need to be reminded but could be forgotten, if one decides not to acknowledge the presence by looking up. The fellow participants form the floating anomalies in the virtual space, whose geographic proximities to you are based on real world proximity. And their persona is defined by their individual desire to personify themselves in their own imagination.

Augmarena is an initiative to inverse this process of bringing virtual content as anomalies in the real world to bringing the real world as anomalies in the virtual world by taking Olmsted Delaware park, which was a manifestation of Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of a public park to transform the American urban scape, a transition in social system to make parks accessible to all sections of the society. Augmarena is a new transition from reality to virtual world that would allow people to engage in virtual space with Delaware park as an arena to experiment this new social system, and with selective infusion of reality in to virtual world as anomalies. This allow us to engage in a new social system that would connect us in a multidimensional way, which would have been impossible in a real world.