My Masters Thesis project, from June 2015 which looks into the future of shopping. The thesis was both a research project which led into a design proposal. I researched the evolution of shopping, urbanism and architecture starting with the Greek agora, where public life arose from the boundaries of the marketplace, to the arcades of Paris, department stores, shopping malls and the experience economy. At the same time, I followed new emerging technologies, the rise of the Ludic Century and the gaming industry. I combined this research to bring us into the future, to a new form of urbanism where distinct elements such as virtual architecture, the third place, the role of the customer/designer, and performance combine.
My thesis text and research curated as an interactive, non-linear reading experience in a website I built.
The Reality Theatre is more than a shopping machine, it materialises a world that encompasses elements of urbanism with contextualised dreams, inspired by the archetypical elements of the mall and store that look with an equal degree towards the future. It is a meshing of stories where the elements of the public life are not only revived through reengineering of architecture and urbanism, but also integrated with modern technology and new consumption economies, all in order to create a utopian future.
I designed an experience that allows you to visit this virtual world in the form of a VR play: a narrative that gives life to this fiction and lets one see how the Reality Theatre works. I use VR here as an interactive tool to transport you to my world. This play focuses on the new logic of shopping and the role of the designer and consumer.
Date: June 15, 2015