As a result of the current corona crisis, the event industry is forced to break new ground. The project investigates how social VR experiences can be created for live events and in which way they can take place beyond the crisis in both virtual and real spaces, as cross reality events. The goal is to develop a prototypical XR architecture and a virtual experience space for multi users. For the technical and artistic implementation, different virtual event spaces will be tested for the complex use of virtual event technology in form of light, video mapping and sound. In addition to the experimental character of these rooms, the aim is to provide a virtual place for live concerts, club events, exhibitions and conferences in which artistic performances or presentations can take place for a large audience. All rooms are given their own artistic signature and can be entered via a sculptural arrangement.
The light tunnel acts like a surrounding architecture for a spectacular light show. The main structure of the tunnel serves as a walkable object. In combination with an icosahedron structure, the digitally created tunnel appears as if it had been created naturally by chance. Hundreds of lighting tubes are attached to the icosahedron-like surface, which further emphasizes the structure. Colour changes and pulsating lights turn the light tunnel into a unique and walkable VR-Experience.
The Projection Mapping space revolves around the theme of diving into another world. The departure room is a cave whose walls have a crater-like structure inspired by the shape of the lobby sculpture (icosahedron). In the walls and the ceiling are holes through which one can look outside the room. In the centre of the room is a crater, around which the tour of the room runs. It appears like a floating ring, like a planet. At the top of the crater is a platform that allows to enter the outer area, which can already be seen through the holes in the ceiling and walls. As soon as one steps onto the platform, one is brought outside through the hole in the ceiling. The law of gravity is overridden and one floats outside. Only through video-mapping, however, is a visual illusion created in this room, which allows the visitor to dive into another world.
Inspired by the futuristic shape of the icosahedron, the overall concept for the lobby was developed. The triangular panels that make up the surface of the polyhedron are reflected in the walls of the room. The room has a hole in the middle of the ceiling, which exposes the nebula sky to the outside environment. Directly below the hole is a sculpture of grouped icosahedrons, which also serves as a navigation system for the entire XRchitecture VR experience. Inside each polyhedron a preview of another space is shown. By clicking on an icosahedron, triangles in the walls fold away to reveal a gate to the selected room. As soon as the visitor steps through the gate, he walks along a light bridge and through the Nebula Cloud before moving on to the next room. The whole design is intended to give the user a futuristic and extraterrestrial feeling. The edges of the triangles that make up the walls, and the navigation statue itself, illuminate the otherwise dark room with an ethereal glow. For added dynamic effect, the individual icosahedrons of the statue seem to float weightlessly in the air.
To complete the concept, the Avatar reminds of the icosahedron. It is just two body parts that offer a simple yet effective way to personalize the user’s presence.
The interior concept reflects, as in some of the other rooms, the “space” theme. Individual parts in the room, as well as the mountings of the monitors and parts of the bar, are resembling a space probe. With their starry sky look, the walls give visitors the feeling of being in space.
An additional bar area integrates another exciting piece of room furniture where visitors can linger. Basically, the room is used for watching and listening to a conference held via monitors.
In the XR club room, a live DJ set from Fuge State will be playing in the evening. The DJs are standing in front of a green screen and are mapped in real time into the light tunnel. The virtual lights are controlled live via an MA lighting console.
“Equinox” is an annual cooperation between the Planetarium Hamburg and the courses of study Media Technology, Illustration and Sound/Vision at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Every spring during the equinox, the semester-long works of the student groups are exhibited in the planetarium in a single evening session. They are audio-visual and performative pieces that include full-dome video projections, animations, 3D audio and/or lively choral vocalizations.
BIOSPHERE is a virtual art exhibition. Six pictures, enriched with individual soundscapes and spoken texts on the auditory level, tell a story as a sequence. Each work is marked by a zone, which is made visible as a ring on the floor. All objects that can be perceived on the visual level have been digitally sculpted in 3D software.
In the winter semester 2020/21 and the summer semester 2021, this prototypical project will be continued at both universities within the framework of the Hamburg Innovation Framework for “Calls for Transfer”. The aim of this project is to find out whether browser-based Virtual Reality (VR) can absorb an industry that requires social contact and immediate experience? Is VR, MR or XR suitable for bringing people together again in times like these, to experience live concerts, club events or conferences together? So how can the social or the live component in VR be solved?
Furthermore, we are convinced that the new online formats for the event industry will continue to exist after the crisis and add a virtual component to events. It will be particularly exciting if virtual events could be given a counterpart in the real event or real people could get a representation through e.g. an avatar in the virtual. Thus, both events could merge and reach a larger audience. How they are designed and which interaction possibilities arise between the real and virtual world and which consequences result from this fusion for the design of architectural spaces is another central research topic of this project.