Another Life: Conversations on Imagined Space traces the correlation between interior design and methods of visualizing the unbuilt or unbuildable. The terms “metaverse” and “extended reality,” now used to encompass the worlds of augmented and virtual reality technologies, are not new concepts—interiors have always been sites where the impossible intersects the real. Historically, this has been manifested in memory theaters, ritual architecture, follies, cultural mimicry, period rooms, and speculative proposals, but today, new technologies have given designers a set of tools to envision similar scenarios convincingly in virtual space.
Current methods for 3D visualization share territory with the software solutions used to create immersive games and virtual spaces. Just as visionary designers have always sought to render the imagined in ways that stimulate sensory perception, tricking the mind’s eye into their existence, these tools have led to the contemporary phenomenon of interiors and design objects that are completely native to their virtual state, existing in the metaverse with as much veracity as their built counterparts. New digital tools have brought a fresh sense of urgency and experimentation to the built environment as well, pairing with digitally-aided fabrication techniques to expand the realm of possible forms. Another Life explores these practices alongside ideas for what the future might bring in terms of a blurred sense of the virtual and the real in interior design.
In keeping with the digitally-mediated nature of the material, this show has been organized around email and video conversations with influential designers, historians, and thinkers who are working in the field of interiors, both built and speculative. These dialogues ask questions based on three categories: Practical, Professional and Philosophical. How have these tools and technologies affected the role of the designer? How have they changed work culture, career paths, and relationships with clients? And how do they shape who we are as humans, our imaginations, and our relationship to the spaces we inhabit?