Architects could become “closer to game designers or filmmakers”

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: in the first in a series of extracts from interviews with the designers that participated in our exhibition on the future of mobility, Kieiichi Matsuda discusses how augmented reality could fundamentally transform the way we design buildings.

“I see the architectural profession splitting into two parts,” Matsuda says. “On the one side you’ll have the people that design the physical support structure of the building. On the other you’ll have people who are making the experience of a building – the way that we perceive it in the virtual layer. They’ll be much closer to game designers or filmmakers.”

Google Glass

Augmented reality is a way of superimposing digital information over the real world. The technology currently works with smart phones, tablets or headsets such as Google Glass.



However, in the future it could be possible to embed the technology into something as small as a contact lens. If such devices become commonplace, the way we use and interact with buildings could change dramatically.

Keiichi Matsuda

“I find it incredibly frustrating in architectural education that there’s no real drive to understand the way that technology is changing our cities,” Matsuda says.

“There’s this old architectural maxim that form follows function, the idea is you should design the form of your building around the function that it occupies. But [with augmented reality], that doesn’t exist anymore.”



“We bring the function with us, so how can you really design the form around a function that is not set? We want flexibility in buildings, we want the ability to be able to apply whatever function that we want and we want the building to be able to support that.”

A still from Keiichi Matsuda’s Hyper-Reality film

The Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition took place at designjunction during London Design Festival from 17 to 21 September 2014.

Matsuda produced a film looking at how ubiquitous augmented reality could transform the way we navigate cities, with signage and directions superimposed onto the streets digitally.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers is a year-long collaboration with MINI exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.

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