Space Popular’s film ‘The Global Home’ merges homes with immersive internet

Multidisciplinary studio Space popular presents a sensorial documentation on the future of virtual togetherness within the bounds of our homes.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Jun 07, 2022

"Immersive media offers the possibility to visually and acoustically inhabit virtual space and come together with others in a fully embodied way. In doing so, it also poses a challenge to our everyday environments, as the virtual space we come into might have very little in common with our living-rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens. The home will be to the experience of virtual space what the body is to the physical experience of architecture. Our bodies dictate which doors we can pass through, what size our beds –and therefore our bedrooms– need to be, or how high a tread can get. In the same way, the size and layout of our homes dictate where we can stand, sit, walk or reach in a virtual world (without teleportation or other means of virtual transportation). Therefore, as long as you choose to access virtual worlds from within the safety of your privately owned property, your physical home will inevitably become the skeleton upon which they function. As you bring your domestic blueprint into the virtual environments that you share with others, hybrids are formed, overlapping formal and functional categories in unprecedented ways and thus challenging our social codes and rituals. In doing so you expose patterns of movement that, if accumulated over time, will reveal your physical home and habits. Inevitably, the way you choose to hide or reveal them will say as much about you as your clothes do today. Collectively with others you will create shared environments where you hang out, play, and watch movies. You will co-decorate these environments and make them meaningful with colours, objects, and patterns that may be just built for the occasion or highly valued and kept over time. And as you build your virtual home that is at once a part of many others’ forming Venn Rooms*, you contribute to the forming of the placeless?, lawless?, unowned? Global Home.” 

- Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, Space Popular, 2022
(Venn Room* was a term coined by Space Popular in 2019 to describe virtually overlapped domestic environments)

A summary of the immersive film, The Global Home, by Space Popular Video: Courtesy of Space Popular

As part of Tomorrow Living - a larger research project by Huawei Milan Aesthetic Research Center that question the ways of living inside homes of the future and the role of digital technology in conceiving these spaces – multidisciplinary studio Space Popular responds to this inquiry through an immersive film that explores the future of virtual togetherness in the home. The film titled The Global Home is being presented at the Carlo Ratti-designed MEET Digital Culture Centre, adding to the cohort of events at the ongoing Salone del Mobile. Resulting from a community of people who regularly gather remotely via immersive media, the film showcases different scenarios of living in a mixed reality future. From the interpretation of a co-sleeping room where avatars fall asleep and wake up together to co-workers seeking privacy in the back alleys of the 3D software in which they are working, the scenes depict our everyday routines merging within a strange, virtual landscape.  

Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg, founders of Space Popular | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg, founders of Space Popular Image: Anna Huix, Courtesy of Space Popular

"Our everyday lives are already overlaid by a multitude of digital augmentations and interactions. Immersive technology gives a third dimension to an already existing virtual layer. This means that what used to be an issue of graphics/2D design, is now an issue of spatial design/ architecture/ urbanism,” state Lesmes and Hellberg in an official release.

The Global Home unites the metaverse with our domestic spaces | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
The Global Home unites the metaverse with our domestic spaces Image: Courtesy of Space Popular

Speaking of living in the metaverse, the Spain and UK based studio shares that the usage of the popular term has perhaps been very confusing lately. The duo’s understanding of it, they add, is simply of an immersive internet – "an internet with a third dimension". With the notion of home being the safest place on earth, one wonders if the marriage of the immersive internet with our habitats would even be appropriate in the first place. Responding to this, Lesmes and Hellberg share that The Global Home is envisioned as a virtual gathering space run by a small community who also sustains the servers in which it is hosted, making it a safe space.”  

A few immersive scenes from The Global Home

What if we kissed in the material node editor | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
'What if we kissed in the material node editor': co-workers seek privacy in the back alleys of the 3D software in which they’re working; there, as cursors, they can cuddle in an environment nobody else in that admin meeting would know how to access Image: Courtesy of Space Popular
Turn off collisions and join us in meditation | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
'Turn off collisions and join us in meditation': in this scenario, the yoga class host recommends turning off collisions for the class to avoid mesh glitches and, indoing so, taking away the materiality of the body Image: Courtesy of Space Popular
I miss waking up to your growing lashes fading | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
'I miss waking up to your growing lashes fading': while the first scenario depicts a co-sleeping room in which avatars fall asleep and wake-up together, one of them sports glowing eyelashes that fade off when they fall asleep Image: Courtesy of Space Popular
Your feathers are covering the lens, reskin pls | The Global Home | Space Popular | STIRworld
"Your feathers are covering the lens, reskin pls": one of the avatar community members hosts a workshop on how to use the new virtual camera they have built. The virtual camera is built into the avatar skin and therefore everyone must wear the same avatar, which happens to be an owl, in order to participate. Feathers end up everywhere. Image: Courtesy of Space Popular

The studio’s site-specific immersive experience is anticipated to enthrall visitors by teleporting them to an eccentric world where no boundaries exist. The showcase is on view within the Tomorrow Living exhibition from June 7-12 at the MEET in Milan.

STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.

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