Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Divergence of the Buddhist Experience

Divergence of the Buddhist Experience

For long, Buddhism has spread and materialize its ideology and teachings through the experience created by architecture and ceremonies that the Buddhist perceive in order to plant and manifest the idea into ones mind. Divergence of Buddhist Experience is a virtual space that allows the user to illustrate and materialize their envisagement of the experience that they desire to enhance the Buddhist practices and ceremonies according to the individual preference. Each contribution from the user will then be used to form a creative network platform that act as an archive to store all the designed virtual spaces that can be shared and accessed by every user. The constructed virtual space must be used to house virtual 16 meters tall Phra Sri San Phet, the same as what the Grand Hall used to function. Each space will then be used for Buddhist practices and ceremonies, accessible by the people onsite and online.

The user who is on the real physical site of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet Grand Hall will be granted access to the design interface via the creative virtual headset consisting of a virtual ocular device with a camera attachment to record the surroundings, a hand gesture recognition device, and a built in open back headphone, allowing them to see, hear, and manipulate the virtual elements respectively, of both the design interface and the constructed virtual space. Only the user onsite will be able to construct the virtual space as they will be able to perceive and scrutinize the context, ambient atmosphere, and variables of the physical site. The user will be given the constructed virtual grammar that act as a foundation where they will be constructing upon. Every architectural design element must be placed on the same existing layout of the ruin.

The design interface aids the user by enabling the new perception through transition of reality such as the ability to see sound, enhancing the creativity and as well as truly understand every single choice and element that they choose. Each choice being made will be shown to the user instantly so that they may experience their creation in real time to achieve the desired effects. They will interact with the design interface through physical body contact with the virtual elements which will response with the user for every certain body gesture. Once the virtual space has been constructed, it will be stored in the online archive of each individual account. It is an interactive platform where different users can access and experience every virtual space through the same medium of the virtual headset and a 3d scanner to record their body and transform that into digital format into the online network. This network allows the Buddhist society from all around the world to form a new community through virtual space that doesn’t just give the user conventional spaces but a holistic archive where contribution creates the network itself. The users are able to interact with other online and onsite user who chooses the same space to perform the practices and ceremonies together.

This interactive network is designed to blur the demarcation of ideology on how Buddhist practices and ceremonies should be experience. Being a core of the space, the Buddha image act as a portal in which the user is able to materialize and manifest their thoughts of the new space should be. This space embraces different perspectives from both Buddhist and non-Buddhist user, creating a divergence to enhance the experience.   
the interior of Divergence of Buddhist Experience

Virtual Grammar

The original Grand Hall design will be use as a default virtual space where both the user onsite and online can come a use this same main channel of Divergence of the Buddhist experience. The space must be use to house a virtual 16 meters tall golden Buddha image. They will be carrying out Buddhist practices and ceremonies in front of the Buddha image.

The user can create their own roof, wall, column, and floor based on the same layout of the Grand Hall ruin. Each element will be a simple mass of architecture. However, the user can manipulate and tweak the surface of each element according to their own desire such as increasing the height of the wall and ceiling. They an add or subtract from all the surface of the elements.

The user can select all natural material to be applied to every architectural elements of their design. The feature was made to embrace the user who is also non Buddhist but choose to contribute to this virtual platform by the individual knowledge of his or her own religion. They can also apply the material to a specific point of the surface, creating a new pattern and atmosphere for the user of the space.

Candles will be the main artificial light source and one of the offerings the user will have. During the Wan Kao Pansa period the user will be able to manipulate the surface an form of the candle at will to create and mould for aesthetic quality. This candle will then be offered to the Buddha Image as the Tawaii Tian ceremony and a way of making merits. Candles can also be placed anywhere in the space to engulf the user with new arrangement of lighting.

Virtual Headset

The virtual glasses will be projecting the image from the world camera to enable the vision of the surrounding. The image of the virtual interface will be overlaid on top of the surrounding image and is interactive through the creative third eye on the top. On top is the creative third eye device is the leap motion sensor that tracks and recognizes the motion and hand gesture to enable the interaction between the user and the virtual interface. Each hand gesture will trigger the stimulation and response of the virtual space. The dual world camera is small in size and is mounted on to the virtual headset as devices for scanning the visual data the user is looking and sent the acquired data to the virtual glasses to be projected to the user. Because this real time virtual interface requires a lot of body movement, the tri lock system will ensure that the virtual headset is properly fasten to the users head without creating any discomfort to the user while carrying out the Buddhist practices and ceremonies. Gilded Thai ornaments are carefully designed onto the virtual headset as a symbol of human according to the pattern of Thai art. Each ornament on different part of the headset is derived from the costume pattern of the human in the Thai pattern, specifically the headwear part.

Final Reasearch: The Grand Hall of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

   The Grand Hall or Grand Vihara is once used to place the 16 meter tall Golden Buddha called Phra Sri Sanphet.  The is the hall that the Royals used to carry out and perform religious Buddhist ceremonies for the City of Ayutthaya. The plan of the Grand Hall has a strong axis that leads the people towards the Gigantic Buddha Image which was latter destroy by the Burmese army. Most part of the Grand Hall was destroyed in the fire due to the use of wood framing which causes the whole structure to collaspe. Only the walls and parts of colums was left to be seen at the current state so most of the part is a flat plane that is not often visited by the user.

However the left over part was enough to let the viewer envisage the space of what it would look like and how it is used during the period fo Krung Sri Ayutthaya. The transparent Vihara is the state of the Grand Hall before it was destroyed. The image is being overlayed onto the ruin which shares the same layout. The form and material is based on the layout and materiality of the ruin as well as the architectural style of Ayutthaya. The size of the grand hall is the biggest structure in Wat Phra Sri Sanphet because it must house the 16 meters tall golden Buddha Image as well as signifying the absolute power of the monarchy over Krung Sri Ayutthaya.

Most tourists is usually observing the ruin from a distant because most of the part is left open and visible to the eye therefore there is no need for the people to walk inside and observe the ruin. The common type of tourist is foreigners who travel in group tour so that they may understand what it is. The Grand is surrounded by four other ruins which is smaller in size and is used to carry out Buddhist ceremonies by local people during the period of Krung Sri Ayutthaya. The most visited ruin among the five is the Wihan PhraTri Lokanat because it is located before the entrance. The most common point of observation is the front part of the ruin which is the most significant view. Here the user can observe almost every architectural element of the ruin as well as sharing the same sequence of how the space is used before during the period of Ayutthaya. Another common point of observation is from the Chedi Phra Sri Sanphet which enables the user to see the Grand Hall ruin from above. Because the Chedi Phra Sri Sanpet is the most visited ruin in the area, this causes the Grand Hall to be observed as much as well.

The ruin of the Wat Phra SRi Sanphet Grand Hall

the stand of Phra Sri Sanphet were left intacted to the ruin

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