In the absence of physical constraint and context, many virtual reality applications recreate physical spaces reminiscent of “virtual rooms” used by early consumer oriented desktop operating systems. However, we believe that there are other ways to address the representation of images in a void.
As a limitation indirectly imposed by hardware, we assume a ground to provide orientation. Much like the clustering of files and folders in a flat digital interface that implies organization, images and texts are inserted into the virtual space in a clustered manner to construct environments. This provides the opportunity to explore depth, distance, and concealment. These are properties not easily afforded in a screen-based interface.
In a virtual environment, distance and concealment are positive traits because they invite a user to explore. Much like a flâneur wandering a vibrant cityscape at night revealed and hidden by dancing lights and flickering shadows, our goal for a virtual reality application is to allow users to move at their own pace and truly explore rather than consume digital images.