Living Shadows for Living Architecture Environments

By Philip Beesley, Kevan Cress and Matt Gorbet

With contributions from Timothy Boll


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This folio describes the Living Shadows project within the Living Architectures Systems Group’s (LASG’s) exploration of augmented reality (AR) environments. Living Shadows uses real-time projections to create a virtual world that augments the physical shadows of an LASG testbed. Creatures based on the sculpture’s physical components inhabit this virtual world. Set free as “living shadows,” they are a way of exploring how these normally static components might behave if they were given the autonomy to move through and interact with the sculpture’s environment. The publication forms part of a series of work-in-progress reports and publications by LASG researchers and contributors.

Shadow has played an important role in the immersive environments created by the LASG. A testbed’s shadow projects the sculptural shape outward, flattening its forms into compositions of light and darkness. The light sources incorporated into the testbeds allow different intensities of light and shadow to animate the structures, adding mood and nuance to their physical movements. The 2022 workshop Shadows and Whispers: Emerging Forms at the Edges of Nature in Lessac, France, used shadows to explore the boundaries between nature and technology and dreams and waking life.