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If Walls Could Talk: Augmented space designed to enhance physical and social engagement.

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posted on 28.09.2021, 22:06 by Chan, Holly

This thesis addresses the issue of the change in Human Interaction with the built environment. Over the past 20 years, technology has become increasingly prevalent in our lives. With the current advancements of mobile devices and social media, the public’s attention is captured in the virtual environment. The mind has become separated from the physical realm and designers must now compete with technology for the public’s attention.

This thesis explores the development of Augmented space, which involves overlaying the built environment with digital information. Digital media provides the opportunity to enhance physical space with the element of interaction, which results in a high level of user engagement.

Many architectural spaces are designed as passive space, serving no pragmatic purpose. Through the addition of digital media, emotional and reflective value can be added to the built form. If space is designed to be reactive, rather than passive, a dialogue can be formed between the user and the environment. This thesis explores how meaningful connection to place can be developed through the addition of interactive digital media.

There is an opportunity to change architecture as a practice to consider digital technology as a tool rather than a threat. This thesis proposes that digital media can be used to re-engage the public with the built environment and increase interaction with physical form with the development of augmented space. The body of research explores how digital media can become embedded in the built form and can be used as a form of materiality by the designer. As new interactions are formed with the built environment, the public can form meaningful relationships with space and create stronger emotional connections with the spaces they inhabit.


Advisor 1

Brown, Andre

Advisor 2

Schnabel, Marc Aurel

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License


Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture