Augmented Australia for Venice Biennale Pavilion

Augmented Reality has clearly entered the consciousness of local design professionals when the Australian Institute of Architects reveals its creative directors' theme for the Venice Biennale as 'Augmented Australia 1914-2014.'

The Perth team felix._Giles_Anderson+Goad will construct their exhibition around augmented reality, "activated with an app for smart devices. Visitors will be able to point their smart phone at the trigger images to open up a catalogue of virtual material allowing them to visualise, walk through and admire the scale and greatness of each project". The intent is to bring to life what 'could have been', and the team have called for 21 unrealised Australian projects to be virtually reconstructed through 3D augmented models, animations, voice-overs and images. This comes as a follow-up to the directors' previous work, 'Unbuilt Perth,' and it will be interesting to see how smart devices at the Biennale will establish user presence within an augmented world.

Preliminary media releases suggest that Augmented Australia will use AR primarily for design visualisation. Akin to the virtual tourism of cultural heritage sites, the architecture on exhibit here is treated as a historical relic, newly accessible via AR in the present-day. Yet the early renders published in the Nov/Dec '13 Edition of AA, '2014 Venice Biennale Preview'  focus on AR's technical wizardry, rather than the architecture being presented. The renders conjure the excitement and magic of Augmented Reality, which is understandable in the context of a proposal for the creative direction of the exhibition. However, will the virtual content presented using AR be similarly engaging, and hold visitors' interest without being overshadowed by the novelty of the AR experience?


Posted 04 August 2013
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