Joshuah Jest

MS
Program in Art, Culture and Technology

FOOLING OURSELVES: Topics and Design Strategies for Media Architecture, Integrated Media, and Composite Reality

As of 2015 the average American spends more time perceptually engaged with virtual content via screens than with the real world, with adverse effects. The rapid proliferation of new media is exacerbating the inherent flaws embedded in fundamental form of the common multimedia display, or “screen”. Engaging with so much of the world and each other via virtual proxies displayed on screens has lead to increased mediation, isolation, and dissociation that threatens how we function as individuals and as societies. We have been fooling ourselves, and are at great risk if we continue without rethinking the physical infrastructure of media.

To counteract this trend, we should be making more of an effort to integrate the virtual into our physically shared environment, and to create multimedia experiences that physically bring people together. Architecture is particularly well situated to tackle the integration of the virtual into the built environment. Such an endeavor constitutes a new subcategory of architecture: Media Architecture, which synthesizes physical design, content design, and communication theory.

This subject matter is explored with the aid of various video-based experimentations and artistic explorations. As a result of these experiments and explorations this thesis also proposes a number of design strategies for creating integrated media and compositing realities, including a materialist approach for creating virtual content that is more tethered to reality.

Throughout, this thesis seeks to interrogate the eternal rift between the worlds in our heads,

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