18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Surfaces of Hyper-Influence

In Consumerism from the Physical to the Virtual Realm

Structured grid, ISO Section, possible spaces. Wall of Irony. van Niekerk,T. Unit 13. 2021.
Corridor. ya Toivo, M. Unit 18. 2021.

Mutaleni Ya Toivo

BArch Hons 2021

Unit Leader: Naadira Patel
Unit Leader: Sarah de Villiers
Unit Assistant: Nothando Lunga

UNIT 18︎︎︎
Hyperreal Prototypes: Supersurfaces
“You don’t have to leave home to see the world” – The Truman Show

In a rapidly increasing retreat into virtual worlds, owing to COVID-19 and the development of technology, much of our time is spent navigating information and material in this way. It has called for a greater emphasis and attention to developing digital encounters, while dramatically reducing face-to-face human connection. This work argues that architects have a critical space to occupy in thinking through these newly developing modes of being. This work takes one on a shiny, flashy, overwhelming passage through digital space, to both narrate the remnants of physical spatialities that might be found in these worlds, but also to question the viability and implicated dangers of this increasing extreme experience.

Through five frames, the project works through spatial states of being which have digital counterparts, namely in ‘Infinity Corridors’, ‘Wish-Image Shopfronts’, 'Transitional Flight’, 'Scaling Mannequin’ and ‘#ClubDima’. In ‘Corridors’ for instance, the experience of scrolling in an endless loop through Instagram or Facebook might have physical ancestral linkages to the mall typology. The frames produced in this work centre on experiences of consumerism and leisure. Drawn mostly in immersive experiential 3-dimensional videos, one might begin to contemplate the strange possible evolution and possibilities of spatial experience in this virtual world, and our physical bodies in relation to this. The project also inserts a countering strategy to respond to a deepening worry toward the overwhelming nature of this experience, through the implementation of new ‘rest spaces’. These play out as disruptions or designed glitches spaces which recall, for a moment, our embodied linkage to the physical world, by enacting awareness through our other senses.

Mall, Transcendental, Exhaustion, Rest, Corridor, Shopfront, Consumption,  Virtual, Physical

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