School of Art, Media, and Technology

VICE and The Verge on Bernardo Schorr (MFA DT ’14)’s Thesis, “Mixed Reality Living Spaces”

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VICE and The Verge have picked up on MFA DT student and creative technologist Bernardo Schorr‘s project from the fabulous Parsons MFADT Thesis Show 2014: Mixed Reality Living Situations–or what Schorr calls a “utopian solution for a dystopian problem” of future overcrowding that would presumedly force city folk to live in 100-square-foot, windowless apartments, relying on a mix of digital and physical reality to make life bearable.

From the VICE article:

“Not entirely tangible and not entirely virtual, but a mixed reality,” Schorr explained in an email. “The content from the walls are a mixture of photography, vector art, video and computer graphics…to try to form a unique identity for a space that must feel real and comfortable, yet not be a plain mimicry of another existing environment.”

It’s a totally feasible, if not quite economically viable, option for crammed future urban living. But no one wants it to come to this; the real point of the project is to shine a light on the issue of overcrowding itself, said Schorr.

“The actual land area of cities will not get much bigger, while populations will continue a steady growth,” he wrote. “The math is simple: there will be less space available for each of us. As time passes, real estate will become rarer and more expensive, forcing new adaptations from us along the way.

Shrinking living spaces led to “vertical growth in Manhattan, the subdivided apartments in Paris and the capsule hotels in Tokyo,” he wrote. The project is both a solution for a future where we have to cope with such confinement, and an opportunity to reflect on the direction we’re heading toward: “A future in which having any windows would be a luxury.”

From The Verge article: 

With the world population expected to rise from 7.2 billion to 9.6 billion by 2050, living space is becoming more and more of an issue. A student at Parsons has a vision of our future homes that is both clever and disquieting. Bernando Schorr’s “Mixed Reality Living Spaces” project highlights how augmented reality can be used to make windowless 100-square-foot apartments hospitable. The video on his website shows projections on the walls changing to accommodate the different configurations of the environment’s only furniture, a trio of modular white boxes. The results are depressingly spartan but functional. Schorr’s video demonstrates how a single room can be turned into a dining area, an office, a bedroom, and even a home entertainment space.

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