[FISEA’93] Paper: Craig Harris – Configuring Hospitable Space


Keywords: Composition, Virtual Reality, Creative Process, Design

This is a retrospective describing a research project based on simulations of future artists’ work environments. The Configurable Space project explores the creative process, and examines the tools and processes that form the foundation for technological resources designed to support creative activities. It is directed towards the development of a balanced understanding about how we use the visual, aural, tactile and configurable capabilities of digital technologies, and how the tools developed affect ways that we think, feel, formulate, and develop on intellectual, spiritual and emotional planes. Configurable Space environments incorporate any available technology that could be used to support the illusion that the implied resources already exist. The simulations incorporate representations of interactive computer display tables, walls and holographic images, within a multi-dimensional sound environment. This creates the context for exploring relevant issues and for imagining how the space might be used in actual circumstances. This retrospective describes the various manifestations of the project, spanning a five-year period. The design methodology is based on the creation of models that simulate the functioning and potential usage of hypothetical systems. This method allows for modeling without the limitations imposed by considerations for specific implementation details, and carries the significance of being able to address ideal states. The goal is to provide paradigms to guide long term development, a goal that is particularly essential in considering virtual reality or immersive simulation technologies, given the fact that the computer resources available today are so constrained relative to the hypothetical systems they are designed to emulate. Liberation from implementation considerations paves the way towards a clarity in conceptual design. Issues relating to the use or non-use of head or hand gear, or even physical versus virtual input/output devices, becomes a question of personal preference and contextual requisites, rather than a technological necessity.

  • Craig Harris, San Francisco, CA, USA

Full text p.67-76