Living in The Matrix: Virtual Reality Systems and Hyperspatial Representation in Architecture

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In the digital age, the hyperspace of virtual reality systems stands out as a new spatial concept creating a parallel realm to "real" space. Virtual reality influences one’s experience of and interaction with architectural space. This "otherworld" brings up the criticism of the existing conception of space, time and body. Hyperspaces are relatively new to designers but not to filmmakers. Their cinematic representations help the comprehension of the outcomes of these new spaces. Visualisation of futuristic ideas on the big screen turns film into a medium for spatial experimentation. Creating a possible future, The Matrix (Andy and Larry Wachowski, 1999) takes the concept of hyperspace to a level not-yet-realised but imagined. With a critical gaze at the existing norms of architecture, the film creates new horizons in terms of space. In this context, this study introduces science fiction cinema as a discussion medium to understand the potentials of virtual reality systems for the architecture of the twenty first century. As a "role model" cinema helps to better understand technological and spatial shifts. It acts as a vehicle for going beyond the spatial theories and designs of the twentieth century, and defining the conception of space in contemporary architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalThe International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts
Publication statusPublished - 05 Dec 2016


  • Science fiction cinema
  • Hyperspace
  • Architectural space
  • The Matrix
  • Virtual Reality Systems


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