Biketopia VR

From the the Da Vinci milano water city world with one of the rotating bridges afront.

The bike installation was shown to a broader public in an art/design perfor- mance/exhibition in two cities (Kristianstad and Copenhagen). In this art/design project with the bike we returned to Jeffrey Shaw’s original idea from 1986, “Leg- ible City”. The Bike installation was one of five stations in which the visitors could explore different ideas about urban development, here in this installation we had the visitors to visit 15th century Milano to experience a conceptual city space never realized. “As a space, is constructed in such a way that we always have the impression to see only a fragment, a more or less small section of it— because at every meters x, the next structural element can appear, ad infinitum. The next canal, intersection, street or staircase; or whatever repetitive has been planned, whichever modules are reappearing in a certain order of appearance” [3]. For this project we got a VirZoom bike to explore two of the worlds from the 2016 exhibition from that perspective. The VirZoom has integrated speed and direction sensors and is compatible with several hard- and softwares. Here we want to see what happens when you take some worlds developed for ani- mation/film and translate that world into real time graphics (Unity3d). What specific qualities get lost and which transfers well?

Workshop at InterARt center MAlmö with Daniel Hepperle and Andreas Siess

Findings: A: Direct immersion for the visitor when entering a virtual world with a familiar navigational device such as the bike. They know how to direct themselves almost immediately and there is a low threshold to learn how to nav- igate oneself. B: Biking is not walking, therefore a space needs some adjustment: this was a bit tricky since this world needs to be changed to fit navigation by bicycle rather than by walking, for example have the bicycle go from one floor to the next, using stairs could have been an option, but does not relate very well to cruising—it will be a bumpy ride. We also wanted to keep the original plan of the city and not introducing “modern” or “alien” elements into it. So to keep the flow in constantly biking through Milano, we used ramps as discreet as possible inte- grated in the original environment to move the visitor on it’s bicycle in between the different levels of the city, and at the same time point the biking experience for the visitor into new directions. C: The bike soon became an important tool developing the worlds—iterating between modeling/texturing/lighting and the experience of the changes made by bicycling in that area of attention. D: It made us aware of the difference between seeing something on the screen (editing) and experience it in full VR, a phenomenon previous studies have already addressed by showing that a unchanged transfer of content from a standard screen to a head mounted display does not fully satisfy the perceptive habits of the audience [4]. E: The bike itself is as we found out also a camera rig and can be used for classical camera work to get camera data out to other 3d programs but also to produce animation paths for Unity3d itself.


From the Future City Lab event at Warehouse 9 Copenhagen 2017