“Ambiguous spaces”: the relationship between interior and exterior spaces in architecture: exploring the use of VR in creating simulated future urban living possibilities.

During my studies I have always pursued possibilities of expression in graphic design. In the earlier part of my degree, I focused on traditional printed graphic design media, but my graduation design was produced during the Coronavirus pandemic, and I had only a very limited opportunity to attempt any further experimentation with print. Instead, I had more time to learn about using technological factors such as virtual reality and 3D design to inform my design objectives and consider the other factors specified in this critical rationale, including context, dissemination and future avenues of exploration.

My interest in using technology stemmed from a fascination with the ambiguous spaces in modern architecture, such as atriums, balconies and rooftops.

In Eastern philosophy, dating back to Ancient Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu’s Taoist ideas, a complex and varied, complementary and eclectic notion of mediation exists between spaces and their use. Since ancient times, advances in construction technology and the constant update of spatial forms in architecture have led to the production of ambiguous spaces – spaces that are neither fully open nor completely enclosed. The ‘in-between’ relationship of such areas can also be applied to spaces that exist between virtual reality and the physical world. We are no strangers to virtual reality, which has been proposed in fictional form in novels and science fiction films such as The Matrix(1999), Ghost in the Shell(2017) and Ready Player One(2018). These fictional environments offer visions of mental and physical access to virtual worlds.

Digital Nomad, a concept first proposed in 1997 by Japanese semiconductor scientist Tsugio Makimoto and British journalist David Manners, refers to the freedom to choose places around the world to work and study in, based on the premise that one is always fully linked to the working environment through digital technology. Although no one can accurately predict the future scenarios of urban life, many of us consider that our environments – particularly the crowded and densely populated urban milieu normally associated with working and commercial locations – are unhealthy, stressful and polluted. In contrast, working as a digital nomad offers an idyllic space, often of our own creation, which has no borders.

NOMAN NOMAD combines virtual reality with the concept of the digital nomad to explore the future of our life and work. It consists of three natural virtual environments (the sky, land and sea), VR glasses, a brochure and a moveable chair. People can use virtual reality to briefly escape their daily livers and move into a natural environment where they can relax in a different reality. NOMAN NOMAD could open up more possibilities of exploring more virtual reality scenarios. These scenarios, as well as others yet to be created, will help to alleviate spatial disorders such as dystrophia, agoraphobia and agoraphobia while taking on the mantle of other forms of art by allowing a brief escape into another world via the medium of public exhibitions and audience participation.

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