published in 2002 in ACADIA 2002 - Thresholds Between the Physical and Virtual
This paper explores the relationship between place, computation, and experience. In particular, it seeks to understand the zone that exists between the digital world on the one hand, and the physical world on the other. It is suggested that the ideal of "immersive virtual reality", by focusing on technology systems to replace the sensory world, misses the opportunity to explore a broader range of connections. Such connections involve combining physical and digital components to create blended environments. A number of examples of such environments are examined. The term "blended reality" is proposed to describe such digitally augmented physical environments and to distinguish between them and virtual environments or cybrids. A design studio series formed around the exploration, design and experience of blended physical and digital spaces is described and selected results presented.