[ISEA2011] Paper: Giorgos Papakonstantinou – Spatial structure and representation in interactive multimedia


A rather recent trend in contemporary architectural thinking focuses on architectural space generation by and through the human body movement. Thinking space by means of events and scenarios seem to prevail over the static entities of traditional architectural conception. The great majority of architectural experimentation with digital technologies is orientated towards 3D environments, based on biological or mathematical models as well as on the mobile camera representation of space. Despite more than two decades of development, space organization and conception in interactive multimedia has been given a very limited attention.

This paper investigates analogies and differences in space conception between 3D environments and the multi-layer and multiple windows organization of interactive multimedia.

Interactive multimedia environment is a complex one, constituted by different types of media, of location and of travel. It includes the spatial composition of the surface of each screen (on-screen as well as off-screen space) and the time-based composition of audiovisual events. Moving from one element or event into another establishes a third dimension in the mind of the viewer, that of the interactive narrative that combines both cinematic and diegetic qualities.

Navigable space can be used to represent both physical spaces and abstract information spaces while hyperlinking often separates data from its structure. Space design is characterized by interactivity functions, hierarchical or non-hierarchical organization and modularity.

Another notion that can serve as a bridge between architectural conception and multimedia design is that of “program”. Program can be considered both as an organization scheme of space representation and as an abstract formulation of a series of symbolic decisions and actions (the software) that organize the data space. Thus, digital technologies have spatialized all representations and experiences while digital narrative is equated with travelling through information space.

  • Giorgos Papakonstantinou (GR) Architect, director of documentary films and multimedia projects. Born in Athens in 1953. Diploma in architecture, National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.), 1976. Post-graduate diploma in Architectural Conservation, Ηeriot-Watt University, Edinburg, UK, 1978. Worked as an architect in architectural and planning projects, 1973-1983. Diploma in Video and Animation Film, National Superior School of Decorative Arts (ENSAD), Paris, France, 1986. D.E.A. (Master) thesis in Fine Arts and Image Technology, University of Paris 8, supervisor Edmond Couchot, 1987. Specialisation on interactive video and multimedia, Paris 8, 1987. During 1985-9, he realised a number of experimental videos on space perception and the specificity of the electronic image. Since 1989, he works as a director of documentary films on art, architecture and the city as well as of cultural interactive multimedia. He has won several awards in architectural competitions as well as in documentary film and multimedia festivals, in Greece and abroad.Since 1999, he teaches Representation Technologies at the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly in the undergraduate program and since 2009 in the postgraduate program “Architectural Design“.   Since 2005, teaching at the Master of “Information and Communications Technologies in Education” post graduate program of the Faculty of Early Childhood Education (TEAPI) of the University of Athens. His research activities focus on representation technologies,  visual communication, interactive multimedia and new space concepts. Associate researcher at the Architectural Technology and Research Unit (ATRU) of the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.) 1989-1998 in projects concerning digital technology applications in architecture. Since 1999, he is a member of the Laboratory of Environmental Communication and Audiovisual Documentation (LECAD-EPEOT) of the Department of Architecture of the Univeristy of Thessaly. He has published over 30 articles in scientific magazines and conference acts.   arch.uth.gr/en/staff/G_Papakonstantinou  arch.uth.gr/en/labs