We asked our architect friends to hand over their digital “trash”—all of the unbuilt 3D models that every architect has lying around on a hard drive somewhere. Then we used the video game engine Unity to assemble these models into a freaky, virtual gyre: a swirling mass of discarded, unloved, half-remembered architectural ideas that festival visitors could explore using the Oculus Rift.
The Digital Gyre is a bit like a dreamscape, or video game with no ending. When you approach a structure, an audio file plays, and you hear the architect talking about the structure you’re exploring, and the memories or feelings they associate with it. The structures degrade, like memories themselves, after you’ve visited them. To move around, we created a mechanism that allows you to jump from structure to structure using your gaze.
Once we got started with this project, we found that we couldn’t stop. Like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it kept expanding. From architects, we moved on to all kinds of creative people: designers, writers, and photographers contributed their spatial memories, dreams, and fantasies. We built these structures in VR, and added them to the Gyre. Debuted at the 7th Architecture and Design Film Festival, 2015.