Jackson Thesis Studio Show

May 11-12, 2012

CACHE was an installation and exhibition featuring the undergraduate thesis work of the 2011-2012 Jackson Studio. The diverse range of projects on display—whether critical, playful, socially catalyzing, or individually empowering—was intended to demonstrate the untapped potential for architecture to produce physical operations on the public’s sense of reality that are commensurate with the highly participatory, interactive, creative, and authorial types of experiences that the public has already embraced in the other forms of media which have so far dominated the contemporary discourse on digital and network culture. The format of the exhibition capitalized on these themes of participation and augmentation, presenting each thesis project’s content as a series of informational layers ranging from the purely physical to the purely virtual, and accessible through both traditional as well as novel forms of viewing. 

The primary content of each project was projected from above, employing one of twenty overhead-mounted video projectors to project this content onto a double row of low display surfaces. Located in between these display surfaces, a continuous display shelf provided a pedestal for physical models to be displayed alongside each student’s projected content. Meanwhile, twenty frosted acrylic “decoder pads” hung from overhead-mounted leashes allowed visitors to view supplemental content associated with each student’s project, including diagrams, videos, and other background information. This supplemental content was accessed by an intentionally low-tech interactive process in which visitors would simply hold the frosted acrylic decoder pad in front of a an additional video projection oriented upward and projecting through an aperture in the lower display surface. Holding the decoder pads at varying angles and distances distorted this lower video projection in a manner that rendered the act of viewing fun and engaging, as well as framing it as an intensely personal experience. 

In contrast to this intentionally low-tech form of interactivity, each project also contained an additional layer of content that was designed to be revealed in a more high-tech fashion by means of a readily available augmented reality application called Layar, which is designed to be used on smartphones or tablets. This embedded augmented reality information—which included interactive 3-D views, animations—was easily accessed by visitors simply by scanning the primary content projection with their mobile device. 

This layering of informational content across a range of media, interfaces, and technologies invited the audience to experience the content of the exhibition in a highly engaged and exploratory fashion, as active participants rather than passive viewers. Furthermore, in addition to the interactive experiences available in the gallery space during the course of the show, the exhibition was also simulcast online, where viewers were able to both watch a live stream of the event as well as post comments that were projected live in the gallery space throughout the duration of the exhibition. 

A short video about the exhibition is available at:

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