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Elissa Crevoiserat
Department: Design
Year: Senior
Class: DES 527

Concrete Reality: A VR immersive design fiction

Why face the ugly parts of your life if you can escape it?
Why stress about the problems in the world if you can simply hide it?

Concrete Reality portrays a possible future where augmented reality has developed to the point of consistent use in the lives of the masses. Augmentation allows users to choose how they’d like their reality to look, causing the masses to neglect the real, physical world.

Concrete Reality mirrors a possible morning in this future. The user begins the day with augmented reality turned on appreciating a decorated home before departing on a walk under blue skies, shaded trees, and nothing but nature in sight. However, if they pick up their augmented reality wristband on the way out, they can switch between augmented reality and physical reality at the press of a button (in this simulation the spacebar).

While the physical world always exists, the augmented reality is a digital façade cloaking the ugly truth. The player can even walk through this façade to see what is underneath. When turning the augmented reality off the player gets a full view of what the “concrete realty” looks like: cement-covered streets, tight suburban housing, and smog-stained skies. The rolling green hills, scattered trees, and home decorations disappear to show this dystopian future. Who would ever want to turn it off?

This project was created as a design fiction, meant to immerse the player in a possible future. The research and ideation stage of the process referenced images of smog-filled skies and dense suburban housing already in existence today. If the world continues down the path of global warming and overpopulation, leading to dense suburban housing and less room for nature, the advancement of technology could create this result. Concrete Reality warns that we should take the time to care for this world before we get to the point of preferring an augmented reality to the physical one.