forms (hence affordances). Moving
forward, I plan to investigate whether
responsive architecture can serve more
practical ends, such as whether it can
be used to design a safer, more efficient
traffic system for pedestrians and
cyclists in dense urban centers.
Augmented architecture does not
involve actual technical interventions
to architecture itself; rather, the label
represents a class of technologies that
employ augmented reality to “filter”
users’ perceptions of the surrounding
built environment, producing equivalent
experiences of digitized architectural
space (Figure 5). Since the effects
are illusory (produced by personal
electronic devices), the environment
can be radically transformed in ways
free from real-world constraints,
including the laws of physics.
HCI has long been supportive
of augmented reality research,
and a wealth of relevant work in
this area has been carried out
within the community. One of my
own projects, ClayVision (Figure
6), is a good example. Whereas
conventional vision-based augmented
reality systems—due to technical
limitations—were restricted to
overlaying virtual graphics on top
of real-world scenery, ClayVision
demonstrates how, by using advanced
computer vision/image processing
techniques, we can treat the entire
built environment as a collection
of malleable 3D models. Users of
the system can grow, transform,
and remove buildings with ease; for
example, when looking for restaurants,
the heights of all buildings in sight may
be adjusted to reflect Yelp ratings.
Our experience of space is a
holistic one involving multiple sensory
channels, and thus augmented
architecture preferably should cater to a
wide range of modalities, not just vision.
Several of my projects were initiated
to address this concern. Weightless
Wall (Figure 7) uses aural augmented
reality to produce sound-blocking
walls that can be erected anywhere
in a room (which is proposed as a key
component of a future, hyper-flexible
office environment), and Gilded Gait
(Figure 8) uses haptic augmented reality
to mechanically alter sensations of
ground texture (potential uses include
navigation and outdoor gaming).
Figure 3. MIMMI, an interactive installation built in Minneapolis. The piece acts as a large-scale ambient display that lets people be aware of the collective mood of their fellow citizens.
Collaboration with Bradley Cantrell, Jack Cochran, Carl Koepcke, Peter Mabardi, Artem
Melikyan, Allen Sayegh, and Ziyi Zhang (see http://minneapolis.org/mimmi/ for more details).
Figure 4. Whirlstools, a kinetic furniture system that fosters communication in public spaces.
Seat angles of vacant stools are dynamically adjusted to steer people into sitting face-to-face
with one another. Collaboration with Jean You.
Figure 2. Responsive architecture. In this relatively small-scale example, the responsive wall’s
color changes to green and apertures appear on its surface, allowing passersby to see through
to the other side.
The Actual Scenery The Perceived Scenery
Figure 5. Augmented architecture. Augmented reality technology is used to filter the user’s
perception of space, offering the experience of a “digitized” architectural environment.