General Information
Project: living-room2, Swiss National Fonds (DoRe)
Lead: Jan Torpus, Institute for Research in Art and Design HGK FHNW
Duration: August 2005 - April 2007

The title
The project title ‘living-room’ is ambiguous. It can be interpreted both as a living room and a room that actually lives. This research project intends to integrate these two concepts, aiming to create a dynamically extended room by using the application of AR-technology. AI will be explored in a future version of ‘living-room’.

Space set-up
The set up of the ‘real’ space is a living room decorated with familiar furniture and objects – a room suitable for implementing various scenarios yet enough imbued with meaning to refer to the real world: a white couch, a cabinet, a mirror, reminders of IKEA interior design. In this room, visitors can move around wearing a HMD (Head Mounted Display). With a handheld device they can select different scenarios, interact with virtual and real elements and use the furniture as interfaces from the real world. Thus, the space becomes a hybrid between an immersive movie and interactive wallpaper.  In this respect, living-room2 refers to a future domestic culture of escapism and consumerism. Just as visitors would normally purchase their furniture, now they can also select their own view to an imaginary landscape.

The research goals of „living-room2“ are:
1. Development of a Design-Vocabulary for room-oriented AR-scenarios. The Design Vocabulary will include specific parameters for design and narrative.
2. Development of technical AR-system.
- the optimization of a technical AR-setup from a designer’s point of view (synchronized visual quality of the virtual and the real)
- the development of an interface that allows a seamless combination of elements from the physical and the virtual space, for user experience, interaction and narration.
3. Development of a Designer’s Toolbox. The Designer’s toolkit will be developed for purposes of education and further development of scenarios.

‘living-room2’s specific approach towards Augmented Reality lies within its immersive application. The room is approached as an illusionary space, a simulation of a possible future experience of daily life instead of a tool for content development.
In ‘living-room2’ the space itself becomes the object of transformation. In the virtual layer, the room can be visually transformed, reconstructed, extended, etc. Thus, the user becomes part of an immersive environment.
By giving the visitor the possibility to “change the space”, living-room2 offers new opportunities for applications in the fields of Architecture, Scenography, Tourism, Museology and Education.