architectural utopias and fictional scenarios take over MAK exhibition in vienna

architectural utopias and fictional scenarios take over MAK exhibition in vienna

/imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual at MAK

 

The exhibition titled /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual at MAK Museum in Vienna explores interior design, architecture, and urban planning within virtual spaces, with a particular focus on the past decade (2013-2023). In this realm, designers can unleash their imagination, craft visionary designs and explore fictional scenarios unconstrained by real-world limitations. The integration of hyperrealistic renderings and AI algorithms has gained popularity, revolutionizing concept development in architecture and design.

 

The exhibition’s title serves as the command entered by users into the AI software Midjourney, enabling them to create their own architectural utopias. By utilizing a text description, the platform generates images with limitless variations and modifications. Structured into four chapters — Speculative Narratives and Worldbuilding, Research Investigations, Dreamscapes, and AI and Algorithmic Variation — the exhibition features various works in various media. Renderings, CGI visualizations, 3D animations and prints, digital films, virtual reality experiences, blockchain projects, and video games all contribute to research and offer insights into pressing social, environmental, political, and aesthetic questions.

 

For this show which will be on view until 10 September 2023, Vienna and Berlin-based architecture office, Some Place Studio has designed the exhibition display inspired by 3D digital worlds and rendering techniques. Each artwork showcased in the exhibition is presented within a unique custom display, allowing for a diverse range of media. Additionally, the design includes a lounge area featuring infinity mirrors, creating a space for visitors to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate.

MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces
MAK Exhibition View, 2023, MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK

 

 

an intersection between architecture, design, & virtual space

 

The exhibition at MAK (see more here) is divided into several sections. The first section, titled Speculative Narratives and Worldbuilding, explores projects in film and virtual reality that offer optimistic, critical, and provocative visions of the future. Highlights include Liam Young’s Planet City (2020), a futuristic film set in a megacity in the year 2050, and Kordae Jatafa Henry’s Earth Mother, Sky Father (2019), a poetic exploration of raw material extraction in the Congo. The section also features urban design video games, blockchain-based projects, and VR installations by various artists and designers.

 

The next section, Research Investigations, presents works that challenge the ongoing influence of Western colonialism on technology and emphasize the importance of decolonizing digital data. Artists like Morehshin Allahyari and Miriam Hillawi Abraham contribute with their artworks that address cultural heritage and context. The first artist used 3D printing to recreate twelve artifacts destroyed by ISIS. Each replica contains a flash drive with digital data and research related to the original piece. Miriam Hillawi Abraham created a virtual reality game called Abyssinian Cyber Vernaculus, which allows players to explore and experience Ethiopia’s historic Lalibela site from a new perspective. Genevieve Goffman, based in New York, focused on the history of architecture, internet aesthetics, and video game backstories. She designed a commissioned piece featuring 3D-printed miniatures inspired by Viennese Modernism and Adolf Loos’ ideas about interior and exterior space.

MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces
Andrés Reisinger, Hortensia, 2018, image © Andrés REISINGER

 

Moving into the chapter titled ‘Dreamscapes,’ the exhibition examines visualizations that blend illustration, surrealism, and architectural archetypes. This section showcases the popularity of hyperrealistic destinations and utopian scenarios, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists such as Andrés Reisinger and Alexis Christodoulou present their digital renderings, while collaborative efforts like Smokebush Court by Studio Mary Lennox demonstrate the cross-pollination of ideas and skills.

 

The final section, AI and Algorithmic Variation, focuses on AI-based architecture projects. It explores the philosophical and design implications of algorithms and showcases the work of SPAN architects, who have been utilizing AI and advanced technologies since the 1990s. Their installation features AI-generated images and a physical model called Doghouse (2023), inhabited by AIBO robot dogs. A livestream provides a dog’s perspective on life inside the model. Domestic robots like AI vacuum cleaners learn about their environment through datasets from model homes. The film HOMESCHOOL by Simone C. Niquille humorously examines a large training dataset, while Alisa Andrasek’s project Ecocity merges speculative research with real-world applications. The exhibition also includes Leah Wulfman’s project My Mid Journey Trash Pile, transforming AI-generated images of buildings made from discarded materials into oil paintings. Lastly, Lee Pivnik’s Symbiotic House demonstrates how AI-supported architectural visions can imagine a multi-species habitat in collaboration with the local community of South Florida.MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces

Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor, New Chemosphere, 2021, image © Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor

MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces
Studio Mary Lennox, Charlotte Taylor, formundrausch, Smokebush Court, 2020, image © Studio Mary Lennox, Charlotte Taylor, formundrausch

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Liam Young, film still from Planet City, 2020, image © Liam Young

MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces
formundrausch, Hidden Hallway from the series no use for name, 2020, image © formundrausch

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MAK Exhibition View, 2023, /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual, Alexis Christodoulou, Quantum Express, 2022 Animation, NFT, 15:11 min, MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK

MAK exhibition merges architectural utopias and fictional scenarios within virtual spaces
MAK Exhibition View, 2023, /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual, SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023, Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots, MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK

architectural utopias and fictional scenarios take over MAK exhibition in vienna
Studio Precht, Bert, 2018, image © Tom Klocker

dive into a hyperrealistic virtual journey at the MAK exhibition in vienna
Studio Precht, Bert, 2018, image © Imanuel Thallinger

imagine-a-journey-into-the-new-virtual-mak-exhibition-designboom-31800

Space Popular, The Fabric of Civic Teleportation, 2021 © Space Popular

architectural utopias and fictional scenarios take over MAK exhibition in vienna
MAK Exhibition View, 2023, /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual | Space Popular, The Portal Galleries, 2022 | Installation, Virtual-Reality-Experience | image © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK

 

 

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MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D prints MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D prints MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View (detail), 2023 MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View (detail), 2023 MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Andrés Reisinger, Hortensia, 2018 Digital artwork, video, 1:06 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Andrés Reisinger, Hortensia, 2018 Digital artwork, video, 1:06 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Liam Young, Planet City, 2020 Film, 15:00 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Liam Young, Planet City, 2020 Film, 15:00 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Kordae Jatafa Henry, Earth Mother, Sky Father, 2019 Film, Installation, lava rocks, screen, 8:11 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Kordae Jatafa Henry, Earth Mother, Sky Father, 2019 Film, Installation, lava rocks, screen, 8:11 min MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual SPAN (Matias del Campo &Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 Model, Midjourney images, AIBO7 robots MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
iheartblob, _Spaces, 2020 © iheartblob
iheartblob, _Spaces, 2020 © iheartblob
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D Print MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D Print MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D Print MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Genevieve Goffman, The View, 2023 Installation, 3D Print MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 © Leah Wulfman
Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 © Leah Wulfman
Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 © Leah Wulfman
Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 © Leah Wulfman
Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor, New Chemosphere, 2021 © Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor
Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor, New Chemosphere, 2021 © Zyva Studio × Charlotte Taylor
Alexis Christodoulou, Quantum Express, 2022 © Alexis Christodoulou
Alexis Christodoulou, Quantum Express, 2022 © Alexis Christodoulou
Space Popular, The Portal Galleries, 2022 © Space Popular
Space Popular, The Portal Galleries, 2022 © Space Popular
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 Installation, Midjourney images, oil paintings MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 Installation, Midjourney images, oil paintings MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 Installation, Midjourney images, oil paintings MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
MAK Exhibition View, 2023 /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual Leah Wulfman, My Mid Journey Trash Pile, 2022 Installation, Midjourney images, oil paintings MAK Exhibition Hall © kunst-dokumentation.com/MAK
2MVD, AerialRocks, 2023 © 2MVD
2MVD, AerialRocks, 2023 © 2MVD
SPAN (Matias del Campo, Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 © Matias del Campo/SPAN
SPAN (Matias del Campo, Sandra Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 © Matias del Campo/SPAN
Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 © Matias del Campo/SPAN
Manninger), The Doghouse, 2023 © Matias del Campo/SPAN

project info:

 

name: /imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual

dates: until 10.9.2023
venue: MAK Exhibition Hall, Vienna | @mak_vienna

exhibition design: Some Place Studio | @someplacestudio

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