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The point of my thesis research is to discuss how technology influences people’s everyday practice and change meanings of spatial relations.
   
 

 

   
As mentioned above, the main focus of this project was to understand the emerging topics in today’s cultural environment that were inextricably interlinked with technology. My belief is that a profound paradigm shift of time is the new way in which people perceive their surroundings. In the traditional sense, the practice of producing metaphors in space was primarily driven by the memories that tie us to those places. However, in contemporary culture, the way in which people engage with their surroundings has become remarkably complex through technology. Even media forms with the simplest technologies, such as traffic signal lights, have literally been shaping the traffic flows of cities since the modern age. Furthermore, by using advanced technology such as sensor networks, there have been numerous explorations in terms of creating systems
Photo by Mikey Tnasuttimonkol / Pipe illustration by Jiyon Hong  
   
  that transfigure digital information into physical forms or vice versa. For instance, Nike+, sports device with sensors, enables users to achieve interactive experiences both in the digital environment and the physical world. In the same context, for decades, people have been deeply interested in creating technologies that would enable them to intuitively respond to and interact with space and objects; as a result of that, they were able to produce a number of research projects. For example, Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible Media Group projects from MIT’s media lab conducted various research studies related to designing natural interfaces between people, digital information, and physical environments. Explorations of the technical infrastructure of ubiquitous computing have introduced interesting aspects of the relationship between humans, space, and technology. As technology increasingly invades space, people’s sensory awareness of their physical surroundings has been achieved not only through the collectable memories of architectural experiences, but also through the digital experiences that take place in the tangible environment. Arguably, people’s engagements with the embedded digital environment are currently shifting to a stage that is ubiquitous.
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Through this piece, I have explored the environment as a platform for distributed media. I disassembled diverse media forms and spread them around the space to capture the moments of transformation from the tangible to the intangible. For me, each medium was used as a metaphor to depict historical ideas which dealt with people’s environments.





 
   
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To achieve this, I've developed a series of design projects that examined ways to use space as a communication medium.
     

 

 
This being the case, for me to fully understand the meaning of today and tomorrow’s technological environments, I had to investigate historical ideas about architectural environments. These investigations were helpful in terms of learning about the changing boundaries of virtuality and the meaning of spatial relationships. After conducting theoretical research on space, I decided to run a series of experiments that would allow me to learn the ways of communicating interesting ideas about surrounding structures. The point of this project was to develop a design approach that would lead to interesting speculations regarding the space between simulated reality, the impossible, and actual reality. To achieve this, I developed a series of design projects that examined ways to use space as a communication medium. The design practice dealt with diverse ideas that challenge the meaning of spatial relationships, such as simulated causality, to provide new modes of interactive experiences to users and enable them to experience the environment with a different set of perspectives.
 
 
I found it helpful to analyze the history of architectural illusions and to identify special effects as a digital element. The point of this research was to investigate how technology changes the meaning of spatial relationships and how it influences people’s everyday practices, usage of common objects, and occupancy of their physical surroundings. This particular experiment was conducted to explore how the scale of visual elements that takes place in our environment could change people’s sensory awareness of their surroundings. A mirror that faces a projector reflects a colossal domino to the wall. As the viewer walks towards the wall, the projected image of the domino interacts by collapsing and rising up again according to the viewer’s location. I wanted to investigate the ways in which recent notions of space can generate new modes of people’s behaviors, gestures, and occupancy in their surroundings.
 
 
 
This is a visual material that I have created as a content for my thesis exhibition. Throughout the year, I have attempted to learn ways to illustrate how technical environments can shape and transform human actions or their aesthetic practices in space. This is my first hybrid chain reaction system as a communication medium. My goal in this practice was to create a critical design that would generate new ways of understanding space and generate lively discussions. My belief was that technology is changing the way in which people perceive space and transforming general perceptions about architecture and hierarchy. My thesis project will illustrate how a user may experience modern media and products in a way that is influenced by predetermined rules through technological environments. However, through this practice, I also wanted to discuss how users might influence the system and simultaneously become part of the system in a futuristic digital environment. I used NET tools created by Phil Van Allen, 12V DC motors, a Makecontroller as the I/O controller, and copper tapes to create this particular physical interaction.
 
 
   
 
 
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2010 © Austin S. Lee, austinslee.com