Nine SquareMarch 2020
1 - Fracturing Space. COVID 19 has fractured physical space into discrete clusters – spaces of entertainment, meditation, and work are no longer experienced in a continuum. The resulting isolation (social and physical) has exposed new modes of living that are primarily engaged through digital New Media.
2- Disorienting Unconsciousness. In this New Media, spatial cues are obscured as we attempt to interact with 2-dimensional screens. Our unconscious is disoriented; it’s unable to challenge this new matrix of representation in which space is compressed into an image; like living on an Instagram feed.
3 - Compressing Urbanism. Even our cities have become a phenomenon of compression through recursion: cities within cities. As we inhabit routes and spaces, unconsciously generating our own personalised maps of space, they become flattened, like application home screens more than 3-dimensional spaces. We are engrossed in 2-dimensional imagery removed from spatiality.
4 - Exploring Spatiality. Our mind craves depth and immersion. We search for a digital architecture that allows spatial exploration, and thereby understanding – one in which iron structures of the 19th Century are reconfigured into wireframe meshes, not only as visual cues but more conceptually as a shifting perspective on the meaning of space.
5- Familiarising Novelty. This layer of spatiality allows New Media to hybridise novel and familiar experiences. A foundation upon which the playful, limitless world of game engines, augmented reality and virtual worlds can thrive.
6 - Shifting Perception. Suddenly, once radical shifts in perception and reality are capable of being understood through exploration, familiarity and posture. A new visual language of communication generates the world around us and becomes semantically ideal to connect with each other socially, creatively and productively.
7 - Reconciling Reality. From banal collaborative immersive work environments to more radical ideas like the integration of colour theory into Supply Chain Management, this language results in collisions of ideas that previously could not coexist. Here, representation does not seek reconciliation with reality, but rather the two are trapped in a dialectic.
8 - Transforming Dimensionality. Spaces are transformed as are possibilities to interact with them; 2-dimensionality transitions to 3-dimensionality with orbital motion and haptic interactions. The stationary swipes and scrolls have become modes of data ordering and spatial navigation in the digital world we consume and contribute to. Our work relies on sorting of information and configuring digital content, like a modern day switchboard operator we configure our work in all axes.
In early 2020, iheartblob proposed a speculative, immersive virtual city titled '9 Square Grid' to challenge and expand our notions of work, play and meditation. This virtual city foiled and opposed traditional, 2-dimensional, flattened spatial experiences that we had become accustomed to during the COVID19 pandemic.
One year later, '_Spaces' represents a reflection on and expansion of the '9 Square Grid' proposal.
Flattened screens have slowly become supplanted, subverted and modified by immersive video calls, AR and VR Hangouts. '_Spaces' is not a digital hangout space but rather a digital city to inhabit and explore - standing as a testament to the importance of digital spatiality today. Architects are often beholden to clients and planning regulators or shackled by confined budgets. However, new concepts of decentralisation and virtual spatiality have enabled the architect to design without constraint, without budget... in a world without gravity or building code.
Smart contracts enable architects the opportunity to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on blockchains and directly distribute digital architectural space without the consent and approval of governmental legislation.
'_Spaces', is a decentralised city - a 1 of 1 unique Non-Fungible Token - which speculates on the future of Architecture.
Purchase '_Spaces' here