Virtual Reality will let us experience places that currently exist in memory. It’s an opportunity that William Copozzi, animator and 3D modeller, is extremely excited about. In his TedTalk he explains why he is so excited about the potential for virtual reality to allow us to visit the places and stories of the past.
Capozzi starts his talk by showing the audience the Palace Theatre in New York in 1917. The was a Palace Theatre was a Vaudeville playhouse who stages saw the likes of Harry Houdini. Thousands of features films were screened and many of Capozzi’s favourite childhood memories are derived from there.
He would visit the Palace Theatre frequently so that he could see the architecture. In the same year he moved back to his home town the Palace Theatre was being pulled down. In the years after the place was pulled down he worked as a digital artist. He started to look for other locations that created a similar sense memory.
He started connecting the places to personal stories. He tells the story of how his grandmother. One thing she remembered was out Rock City Park coming down the hill in a street car. The street car has moved beyond living memory. Capozzi’s work created animations and simulations of real place and the real stories attached to them.
Then almost overnight the new medium of virtual reality appeared. It allowed you to view in every direction. Where in the past expensive equipment was needed to create these experiences, now only a smartphone was required.
The new VR technology has opened up new opportunities for education and entertainment. It can be used to create an experience of historical places that otherwise exist only in memories.
One project that Capozzi talks about is Larking Building,designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Among it’s important architectural features it was the first building with built in air conditioning. We can still experience what it was like through a virtual recreation.
As a producer of VR Capozzi is excited to see where that the technology might evolve into. He looks forward to returning to people and places he would like to see.