Wintersemester 2020/2021, BA/MA Produkt-Design eLab , Exzellenzcluster


»The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining, and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal.« (Sutherland, 1965)


The introduction of the concept of „the ultimate display“ by Ivan Sutherland is regarded as the birth of Virtual Reality, or VR for short. The technological developments of the last 50 years have since then produced increasingly realistic experiences that reproduce sensations associated with the physical world. However, these systems primarily address only two of the human senses - our sight and hearing. In comparison, our skin and with it our sense of touch is a little-explored sensory interface for VR and AR (Augmented Realities) technologies. The skin forms the basis of all our physical interactions with the outside world. Tactile sensations generate the deepest and most emotional kind of contact between individuals and are therefore essential for immersive virtual experiences.


We understand 'virtual reality' not only as a collective term for dedicated technologies, but also as the digital enrichment of physical spaces and objects with multi-sensual levels of information.


The aim of the project is to explore the extent to which virtual realities can generate not only equivalent but completely new 'hyper-realistic' experiences by means of synaesthetic stimuli. How can haptics and materiality be transported into the virtual? How can senses be meaningfully coupled to complement and expand physical reality? How can the imagination of users be stimulated while they mentally construct imaginary virtual worlds beyond spatial and temporal boundaries?


If experiences are basically multi-sensory data, they can be manipulated in the end. „We are interested in whether and how learned patterns of experience can be changed and how we can recondition our perception,“ says curator Mike Meiré. Areas of application in which the wonderful perceptual abilities of humans can be expanded are numerous and range from education, communication and entertainment to medicine and rehabilitation. Part of the project will therefore be to identify meaningful applications and to design suitable solutions.


The project is based on the research work of the 'Cutting' project at the Cluster of Excellence 'Matters of Activity' (MoA), which deals with the cultural practices of 'cutting' and understands them as a process of dividing as well as composing, ultimately deciding.


*In collaboration

dem eLAB unter Leitung von Felix Groll.


*Supported by the experts

Hanna Wiesner (Design MoA)

Dr. Olivier Bau (Computer Science)

Paula van Brummelen (Textile- and Surface Design)

Dr. Maxime le Calvé (Soziale Anthropologie MoA)

Christoph Volbers (Design)

Christoph Holtmann (Computer Science)

Supervision Prof. Carola Zwick, Judith Glaser, Felix Rasehorn
Project categorySemester Project Project subjects BA/MA Produkt-Design