The Hyphenated Zone: Exploring the Connection Between Actual and Virtual Space
This research operates at the nexus between actual and virtual space. In interior architecture we can use tools to produce virtual experience, being immersed in a world or space different to your physical location. These tools can include, but are not limited to, actual materials, forms, spaces, and arrangements. Virtual space is described as the non-material spatial experience. This experience disconnects us from the physical actual environment that we live in. The best example of this is that of a cinematic experience. When we watch a film in a cinema, the actual physical environment we usually occupy is re-contextualised through a lack of light; our focus is then given to the light and movement produced by the projected image where we become encapsulated by this sense of virtual that we cannot control. We experience a sense of space different to our own and occupy this space although it remains less tangible than the physical world we live in. This thesis proposes a redesign to the public areas for the site of — Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision in Wellington. Currently, the only access the public has to the collection is through digital means, a small cinema and collection of computers in the media library. This project aims to create engaging, embodied encounters with the digital collection of Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision through a series of interior installations within the site. These installations extend the virtual interior created by the sound and moving images further into the boundaries of the actual, physical interior. The exhibition spaces of Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision offer a rich testing site, and provokes the question, how can we create more immersive, engaging encounters of the incredible films collected by Ngā Taonga? The purpose of an archive is to preserve the past for future generations. Although the site currently allows some opportunities for the public to access the collection, it lacks a sense of immersion that can be explored through interior architecture interventions.