Augmented reality (AR) is gaining importance rapidly in all spheres of our collective existence. A rendered design proposal – until now existing only in virtual or on paper, and the urban environment where this proposal should be implemented, can now exist in one reality. With the rise of smartphone devices capable of producing and displaying interactive augmented reality environments, the vast potential of AR has become available to anyone at any place at any time. On one side, there are many concerns and critiques forecasting that AR will become a real-world amplification of what we are seeing online as an advertisement and social media. On the other, a 2017 study of the game’s play, found that AR added depth to player’s experience of public space.
In this seminar, we will be joining the debate and exploration of this new field under the question: what are the actual possibilities of augmented reality in urban design? Is it just a playground for the companies to project advertisements onto the soccer field during a match or visually recreate dead artists to appear on a concert stage? Or, is the democratization of the urban design and city planning through AR and smartphones a significant shift in the agency when negotiating over the urban?
In the first part of the seminar, we will read texts, which will set up a theoretical base and frame the scope of our discussions. Once we have outlined the issues, we will utilize AR tools to address these issues. For this reason, students interested in this course should have curiosity and interest in the use of apps and smartphones. However, previous knowledge of coding or any developer programs is not necessary. An instructional workshop will be provided during the course. Additionally, you should have or be able to acquire for the duration of the course either an android or iOS-operated smartphone (alternately a tablet), and a laptop.