As part of a social experiment at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair, Swedish designer Christopher Jansson created a virtual apartment and pretended to live in it for several months.
Through a series of 12 renderings shared on Instagram, the Uncanny Spaces project tells the story of the purchase and renovation of a house that Jansson designed based on an actual apartment in Stockholm’s Herrenborgsgatan .
The digital replica is modeled on the actual dimensions of the 89 square meter apartment confirmed during the public viewing and is embedded with virtual copies of some of the designer’s own possessions to complete the illusion.
He photographed details like cracked wallpaper and oddly placed electrical outlets in real apartments so he could recreate them using 3D modeling and rendering software.
“My aim was to explore the house as a tool to convey status and identity on social media and discuss the influence of rendered images in interior architecture,” said Jansson.
“I also wanted to challenge my rendering skills and see if I could convince the viewer that the apartment physically exists.”
The ruse proved so convincing that a major Swedish interiors magazine commissioned a photoshoot of the non-existent apartment. And students at Konstfack University questioned Mr Jansson about how he was suddenly able to afford a multi-million pound apartment in central Stockholm.
Over a two-month period, we posted the results on a dedicated Instagram account designed to mimic the personalized profiles homeowners create for their renovation projects.
In early renderings, the apartment appears to be an empty shell, gradually filled with boxes, IKEA bags, and exact replicas of Jansson’s personal belongings, including a marshmallow table and all of his books and jackets. It shows how it goes. Only on that day.
Jansson also placed internet-famous design objects in his virtual home, including Ettore Sottsass’ undulating Ultrafragola mirror and Axel Einar Hjöls’ Lovo dining table, commenting on the rise of the “Instagram aesthetic” did.
“The constant stream of images on social media is impacting our attention spans, and it is becoming increasingly important for interior architecture to find ways to quickly capture the viewer’s attention. ” he told Dezeen.
“The obvious result of the fast flow of images is the so-called Instagram, which is characterized by geometric or curvilinear shapes, unique color schemes, tiled floors forming graphic patterns, and clear contrasts between gloss and matte. “The aesthetics of the world,” he continued. .
“The priority is not the physical aspects of the room, but the ability of the interior to work well within the image, which has a negative impact on the physical experience of the space.”
Throughout the project, Jansson sought to provoke and incorporate the account’s followers into the design process. For example, he asked people what color he would paint the hallway, and he pretended to paint his precious antique furniture bright pink.
Towards the end of the experiment, the designers began accelerating the timeline of the hypothetical renovation, making renderings ever more eerily perfect to see if followers would notice that the apartment was fake. I did it, but no one noticed.
By exploring these responses, the designers explore how we use images of our homes to present idealized versions of ourselves, and how it sets unrealistic standards for our real-life living spaces. I wanted it to get noticed.
“Today, we can observe other people’s daily lives and publish our own daily lives through social media,” he says.
“Constant exposure creates unattainable ideals and gradually shifts the boundaries between private and public. That’s why it’s more important than ever to show every part of your home in a positive way. Masu.”
Uncanny Spaces was exhibited at the 2023 Stockholm Furniture Fair as part of the annual Ung Svenks Form exhibition by young Swedish designers.
To bring this project to life, Jansson created wooden reliefs that represent a flat image of a 3D virtual house, realized with the help of the digital modeling software Rhino and a CNC milling machine.
This project does not mention the rise of the Metaverse. For the Metaverse, designers are increasingly creating virtual furniture, clothing, buildings, and entire cities. However, Jansson predicts that the emergence of parallel virtual worlds is likely to make the problems considered in his project even worse.
Uncanny Spaces was exhibited as part of the Ung Svenks Form exhibition at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023, which took place from February 7th to 11th. Check out our digital guide to the festival or visit our Dezeen event guide to see what other architecture and design events are happening around the world.