Questions Unfolding Flatland

Jun 16, 2015 | Augmented Reality | Design Patterns | Mixed Reality | Virtual Reality

In Envisioning Information, one of Edward Tufte’s seminal publications on information design and data visualization, Tufte refers to the two-dimensional space of the page and screen as “flatland.”  Flatland, by definition, is an abbreviated representational space – condensing the dynamic, multi-dimensional field that it references into 2D shadows.

For centuries, our relationship with information has been constrained within flatlands.  The HoloLens, as well as others emerging within the array of new technologies in the AR/VR realm, changes this, opening a myriad of questions about the possibilities for information unfolded and unleashed from flatland and woven into our 3-dimensional physical spaces.

Encountering a new medium, a new canvas, and potentially a new paradigm for interacting with information, it is critical to begin with questions.  Big questions.  To explore and play and wrestle these big questions wholeheartedly, and to discover our way into meaningful answers.

A few questions, for starters:

  • How can the synthesis of physical space and holographic form make our information more meaningful?  How can we simultaneously add depth dimension to the representation of information, and to its resonance within the spaces we are unfolding it into?
  • What are the more egregiously under-represented axes of information within flatland, that could potentially catalyze our comprehension when expanded into 3D form?
  • How can immersive physical information design amplify our potential to conceptualize complex, interrelated systems?
  • What characterizes an organic holographic engagement – an intuitive fusion of information, physical space, interaction, and 3-dimensional form?
  • Does the experience of information in an immersive physical context change our level of emotional engagement?
  • What are best strategies for integrating sound?  How do visual, audio, gestural, and spatial dimensions work most effectively in tandem?
  • What are the key design strategies toward unleashing the full potential of the HoloLens, and of mixed reality experience?

– Heather Raikes, Creative Director

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