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Convergence by Randy Deutsch

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CHAPTER 5VIRTUAL AND PHYSICAL

I jokingly call this convergence of games into reality the “Gamepocalypse”: the moment when every moment of life is actually a game.—Jesse Schell1

As we design for the built environment, we introduce the virtual—in the form of ideas, sketches, rough models—into existing conditions: the building site, local features, and surrounding context. The design could be described as a reconciliation between the digital and the real, in that the still-emerging building design adjusts to the physical realities of soil conditions, the presence or absence of vegetation and landscape, adjacent buildings, and so on; at the same time, the physical reality of the existing site adjusts to the presence of the newly introduced building. In the best situations, the two meet about halfway, each—the virtual and physical—making concessions or adjustments for the other. In its own form of convergence, unlike virtual reality, augmented reality can be said to fill the space of virtual objects layered on top of the real world.

To arrive at the newly conceived building in its realized (built, completed) state, architects today make use of the virtual, be it for laser scanning of the existing conditions, digitizing existing site surveys, using sensors to mine data from external forces or presences at the site, using GIS to map utilities and infrastructure, and analyzing that data for energy, daylighting, crowd control, and other means of performance—or just to see what it is ...

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