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The University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning presents Michigan Meeting Winter Symposium: Living In Digital Environments

March 22 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In 2012 the first 4K resolution screen became available on the commercial market at the common 30” desktop size, making it possible for a user with 20/20 vision seated 24” away from a computer screen to be confronted with the same amount of visual information as could be experienced in the surrounding environment. This development brought verisimilitude to another realm that has gradually emerged for decades, the constitution of the digital sphere as a kind of environment itself. Today, we live inside the digital. Increasingly, our public and private lives are conducted online and in digital space where our relationships are forged, nurtured, or deleted, where our bills are paid and finances tracked, and where our ideologies are fed and our politics balkanized by our respective media bubbles. And while the digital now constitutes more and more of our daily routines, it can also offer a distorting abstraction of “external life.” Swiping left is easier than breaking up, and even the most civil among us can become an entitled consumer on Yelp. At once, our digital environments offer new grounds for engagement and interaction, and immersive venues for escape from the exigencies of the outside world. This session will discuss this dialectic. Drawing contributors from across art, architecture, design, and media studies, we will examine the digital as both a totalizing environment unto itself – a bubble apart from the external lifeworld – and a new venue for social organization and engagement.

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