Virtual Develoutopia is a series of public happenings that respond to the curious vision of developer utopias using visual communication and virtual reality in the form of an interactive site-specific installation. The first public event took place in the surroundings of temporary Bratislava Bus Station on the 9th of November 2019. Visitors could find themselves in a fictitious 3D bubble that allowed them to experience the specific public space as it “should always have been”. It combines the visual and verbal language that Bratislava real estate companies use to communicate their projects to the public – including specific citations from architectural visualizations, promo videos and slogans of PR texts.
Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly being used in marketing as well as games – including the real estate sector. More and more developers are introducing virtual reality as a new tool in real estate sales, in addition to hyperrealistic architectural visualizations, drone shots and physical 3D models. The presentation of interiors and exteriors via VR is a great success, as it enables customers to “experience” space virtually on their own. The main argument is that the technical drawings are difficult to understand, and it is almost impossible for most people to imagine the actual space. Architectural visualizations are not an ideal source of information, as they build on the emotivity of the overall impression rather than the presentation of specific details. But to what extent can virtual reality be considered a true representation of reality and how does the perception of spatial relationships experienced through VR glasses affect our judgment?
These virtual 3D collages were designed as a critical view of the utopian nature of the future city centre vision, which does not take into account the individual realities typical of city life. This vision deliberately excludes the diversity of the population or urban culture and replaces it with cheap attractions such as street food festivals and circus art. The absurdity of such a vision is given to the viewer through a visual hyperbola without commentary, leaving room for one’s critical judgment and the creation of an opinion on the ongoing development, which does not concern only the owners of real estate properties, but equally all residents of the city. At the same time, the project’s ambition is to raise awareness of the overall social responsibility for the consent of the city development and thus to encourage active participation of the population in public discussion and to oversee the finalization of development in line with expectations.
The virtual collages can be found at following links:
Bus Station Bratislava: http://hamosova.com/vrdeveloutopia/#nivy-stanica
Design Factory/SKYPARK Residence: http://hamosova.com/vrdeveloutopia/#nivy-designfactory