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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Karl Schroeder, “Cyberspace, R.I.P.”

  • On December 21, 2005

Great Quote I thought I’d put on since I was recently asked what the relationship between cyberspace and interactive architecture is.

Cyberspace, RIP by Karl Schroeder from Future Now

“It’s this overlay of the virtual over the real that makes the cyberspace metaphor obsolete. Cyberspace, after all, is conceived as something like the astral plane–a digital reality that exists “elsewhere.” But it’s precisely this “elsewhere” that’s being eroded by applications like Davison and Reid’s augmented reality system. Increasingly, the digital world is being married to the real world, with surprising results.

My personal theory is this: when the only way to use a computer was to sit still and look through a little window (the screen) into a virtual space, the cyberspace metaphor worked best for us. But with cell phones, PDAs and geographical applications such as store-finders and the proposed “taxi” key for cell phones (which simply summons the nearest cab when you press it), we’re no longer staring through a window into cyberspace. The window’s been broken, and the cyber world has spilled out into our own space.”

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