Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop, 2010

At the theoretical level, new thinking is emerging about the very spaces that we occupy and how best to incorporate new technologies so they might augment reality. Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop, a project developed by Keiichi Matsuda, in 2009, as part of his master’s thesis at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, focuses on the potential for augmented reality to “recontextualise the functions of consumerism and architecture, and change the way in which we operate within it.” Matsuda’s research-based project, realized as a video, explores what it might be like to live in an immersive digital realm in which even simple activities such as making a cup of tea play out in both real and virtual space. Combining hand-drawing, physical models, collage, and live footage, Matsuda has created an alternate reality in which advertising, public announcements, and other information bombard our daily activities. No longer reliant on computers or mobile devices, the very spaces around us can transform into virtual screens and keyboards on demand. Dinner suggestions based on the contents of one’s refrigerator and messages from friends, visualized in three-dimensions, collide with other forms of information such as advertising and forms of entertainment such as online games. Together they redefine the built frame in a more multidimensional way. Although he admits that there are negative effects associated with our media-saturated environment and an overload of information, Matsuda believes that architects are responsible for redefining the parameters of their profession and giving people more control over their environments. His work stands as an open-ended statement about the possibilities for redefining the profession of architecture, and in turn the way we live, work, and play both online and off based on a more integrated approach to technology.

Keiichi Matsuda. Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop, 2010. Courtesy of Keiichi Matsuda.