Without Firmitas

Architecture in Augmented Reality

When freed from the limits of reality, the first instinct is anarchy.
Is user-generated anarchy a worthwhile public monument?

Without Firmitas proposes a digital landscape that upends three dimensions of stability in the built world - the structural, the authorial, the temporal. Aggregated forms reference the Vitruvian Triad, where the corner of "firmitas" has been bent out of plane, removed from consideration.

In Augmented Architecture:
Firmitas is no longer a requirement for enclosure.
Architect as creator is no longer firm. Occupants become authors of their surroundings.
Structure is no longer firm. Decaying and remade in new forms over time.
"Site" is no longer firm. Accessible from anywhere, reinstantiate anywhere.

Without Firmitas responds to its site in Kensington Gardens as a digital folly -- sitting axially between the Queen's Gaze, picturesque temples and whatever starchitects' latest at the Serpentine Galleries. Visitors can sit on a physicalized form to experience, touch and move through the exact intersection of physical and augmented space. Through a mobile AR app, visitors to the site can add modules to this augmented landscape and participate in the re-creation of this installation. The virtual realm collapses physical space such that remote users that are not physically present can also place modules in this landscape. These forms register and reveal their remote authorship through their color. Forms are dynamically colored by their global distance away from the Serpentine plinth site. Objects placed by users decay over a one week period so that the landscape dynamically evolves and changes over time, giving local visitors a reason to return to the installation site.

A team competition entry for the 2019 Augmented Architecture competition at the Serpentine Galleries in London, England, along with Greg Tran and Amy DeDonato. Created with Rhinoceros 3D, Illustrator and pass-through AR with wiARframe app.

(The jury said no.)

Anarchy is a cheap thrill.
Non-specific site-specificity.

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