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Seminar: Augmented Realities (2019)
Raphael Benz

In today’s everyday urban life we don’t get to see much of nature. We are surrounded by man-made technology and architecture with a little glimpse of natural occurrences here and there. This makes us easily forget that for most of humankind the planet was covered in woods, grasslands, glaciers and naturally flowing rivers. In this project, I don’t want to demonize technology or deny the comfort of the modern life, but merely put into perspective what we see everyday and perceive as “normal”, in the hopes of creating a more environmentally friendly society.

The smartphone app “anno” places portals to different times around urban areas. These portals look like open doors to different times placed in the real physical environment. One can move around in front of the door to enhance the picture of what is behind the door frame. Behind the door is an idyllic 3D modelled simulation of how that place probably looked like a few 100’000 years ago.

The portals can be found with navigation arrows placed in the augmented reality. This combined with the facts that the “other side” of the portals is only made visible via modern AR and 3D technology, provides an absurd undertone by showing even more our dependency on technology.