In what could either be a nifty art project or a vision of the hopelessly bleak urban dystopias that await us all, interaction designer Bernardo Schorr has put together a prototype of what he calls "Mixed Reality Living Spaces," which are windowless 100-square-foot apartments where projections on the walls give the illusion of windows and decor. It's basically the Star Trek holodeck, except instead of coming up with training simulations to prepare the crew of the Enterprise to explore deep philosophical and sociological issues while charting the far reaches of space, it responds to different configurations of a set of adjustable furniture by projecting different virtual rooms; home offices, dining rooms, theaters, and the like. "It's made for a future in which having any windows at all would be a luxury," Schorr tells Co.Exist. "We might not really need these 'mixed reality' living spaces quite yet, but the project is made for a future in which we'll need them to be able to cope with confinement and survive these smaller apartments."
Of course, many city-dwellers around the world have to deal with similar conditions without the mood-lifting boon of virtual windows. Schorr isn't quite resigned to this Blade Runner-type existence becoming the norm though, calling the project "an opportunity for critical reflection on whether this is really the direction we should be heading towards." Still, after testing the setup out he claims that being inside is "weirdly comfortable." See for yourself below: