4. The Architecture of Connectivity


46. Imagineering

Les fonctions sont dans l'epaisseur des murs, jouent dans les interfaces. L'espace n'est plus un contenant, l'espace est ce qu'en liberent les parois, il n'est presque plus contingent" (Jean Nouvel).


A fourth epistemological fable is provided by Osmose, a profound statement by Char Davies about the artificiality of the digital world and its intimate relationship with the organic reality of our bodies. The new intimacy, and tactility afforded by virtual architectures inspired the use of a breathing sensor to navigate in Osmose. To move up and down the nine levels of the bucolic virtual woods created by Davies, all you need to do, after having donned the appropriate equipment, is to inhale (up) or exhale (down). If you breathe normally, you stay on the same level. You can navigate by pointing or turning your head to look at something in particular. The architectural lesson here is that the surface of the world responds to the body interactively, as opposed to providing a resistance against which the body can exercise its autonomy. Especially impressive in terms of epistemology is the span of experiential levels between the bottom layer (a bewildering array of criss-crossing 0/1 strings) and the top (quotes from famous thinkers and scientists that eventually charted the way to the Virtual).

Technologies of simulation both on and off-line are becoming so flexible, affordable and user-friendly that they eliminate the need for slow and difficult steps in drafting and modeling. They allow faster processing and rendering, hence a closer approximation to thinking. Imagining and imaging almost become one. All simulating machines, like the mind of Prometheus (which means "thinking ahead"), are essentially "projective": they show simulations of things that are not yet actualized, not made. Images on a computer screen, as opposed to video or even "live" TV, are not mere "replays", like photography, but "remakes" of reality In fact they are the ideal laboratory for ideas and design because they are like imagination itself, free and fluid, but, like the real world, objective, published, shareable.

Char Davies, Osmose (1995), Tree PondChar Davies, Osmose (1995) Code World

This article may include minor changes from the original publication in order to improve legibility and layout consistency within the Immersence Website. † Significant changes from the original text have been indicated in red square brackets.

Last verified: August 1st 2013.