Published 18th September 2018 as part of the exhibition catalog for the exhibition Value in the Virtual at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design.

Lara Lesmes & Fredrik Hellberg 2018

Curator: James Taylor Foster

1. Virtual content will radically alter the value of architecture

The limitations that define our physical environment—such as gravity, light, or material resources—are of no concern in virtual worlds. As such, fundamental assumptions of what, how, why and for whom architects design will be recast.

2. Values will be both gained and lost in the transition to the virtual

Just as the elevator allowed and then encouraged us to dwell higher above the ground, new spatial scenarios will lead to different patterns of life. Spatial qualities yet to be imagined will change the ways in which we value our environment.

3. Virtual worlds will intensify our interest and appreciation of physical environments

Virtual worlds are an invention of the physical – they rely on our haptic knowledge of the world around us. In a similar way to how fiction shapes our lives, simulated reality will intensify our interest in and care toward the physical world.

4. Architecture will be appreciated by the spatial experience it provides

Virtual environments will have the capacity to shape, lift, suppress, and influence us. Architecture in the virtual will be able to change at the speed of thought and, being freed from its primary role as shelter, will lead with experience as purpose.

5. Spatial experiences will become increasingly specific and tailored to its dwellers

Redecorating your virtual home will be as simple as changing clothes. Rapid spatial customisation will increase demand for content and objects in virtual marketplaces.

6. Planetary scale virtual worlds will coexist with their physical counterparts

The future Internet will carry a persistent map of the entire physical world. Virtual worlds will coexist and interact with this map, allowing any virtual object or user to be positioned between layers with millimetre precision.

7. Peripheral attention will broaden from objects and faces to facades and streets

Physical architecture is largely static and, as a result, peripheral to our perception of everyday lived experience. Virtual architecture has the potential to be as interactive as human beings are with one another.

8. Virtual craftsmanship will gain appreciation as virtual worlds become the norm

Digital craftsmanship will become mainstream; the intangible will carry the same value as tangible objects do today.

9. Social appreciation will manifest visually as embellishments to our attire and environments

In virtual worlds, an evolved form of ‘social media’ will be tethered to our avatars. Social interactions will become intensely spatial experiences.

10. Attire and architecture will blend into a continuous extension of the self

Architecture provides a format for everyday life but remains peripheral to our lived experience. As inhabitable virtual environments become the norm, the environments that we shape will shape us wholly in return.