How To: Hold a Building in Your Hand

Hold a Building in Your Hand

Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum and previous director of the Netherlands Institute of Architecture, reports on the world's first postage stamp to employ augmented reality. Dutch advertising agency Gummo, the NIA and the Dutch postal service teamed up to present five unbuilt models by different Dutch architecture studios in 3D form. When held in front of a webcam, the illusion of a 3D building is projected in your hand. By slowly moving the stamp, you can experience the virtual building from any angle.

For our Dutch readers, while the 5 models are yet to be realized, you can "experience" them on location, at the building sites they were designed for, using UAR, the NAI's Urban Augmented Reality app.

If you can manage to get your hands on an actual postage stamp set, here are the instructions for use:

  1. Keep stamps on hand.
  2. Connect your webcam.
  3. Click Go! (or Ga! without Google Translator)
  4. Hold the stamp in front of the webcam.
  5. See the building from all sides.

(Meanwhile, here in America we can't even get the correct representation of a national icon on our stamps. Some poor schmuck working for the USPSmistook a Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty for the real thing—a mistake that wasn't discovered until after the design was sent to the printers.)

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