Television, Gaming, New Media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract / Description of output

Once upon a time an interior was an interior, a sanctuary enclosed from the world; but ever since the introduction of plumbing in the nineteenth century and every innovation since, the interior has become less an isolated container of space, more a node on many networks.

The contemporary interior is riddled with apertures into worlds beyond itself: the television, the computer screen. The ability to broadcast as well receive ensures that its boundaries are permeable in both directions: they leak information as well as receiving it. Those boundaries are themselves nothing more than the hazy edges of clouds of information.

All of which might lead one to imagine that the contemporary interior is one in which actual walls, floors, doors, and so on, have become redundant. Curious it is, then, to peer through those apertures into the digital otherworlds contained therein: the spaces of the TV set or the computer game.

They are little interiors of their own, made to look as solid as technology allows. They have been designed just like the real thing, using similar software, and they reflect the same concerns that have concerned interiors designers of all times and places.

There is, as yet, no truly digital tectonics, liberated from the conditions that generate construction. Rather, existing forms are used as props and scenery, and drive stories through which we venture in search of the next level. The game Myst begins with no rules, no players, no gameplan: only an interior whose very emptiness invites us to explore it. The interior is the game.

This chapter will use the world of the game to examine the strange mirroring that takes place between the virtual and the Euclidian spaces of the contemporary interior, and to meditate on the critical nature of the frame/screen that divides and unites them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of interior Design
EditorsGraeme Brooker, Lois Weinthal
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Print)9781847887450
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2013


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