About four months ago, I stopped checking my phone directly after waking up. Not that my sleep was bad, but I’ve started to dislike the behaviour. It still feels like a small victory every time I resist the temptation. On average, people spend one-seventh of their time on their phone. Combined with laptop and television use, this results in eight and a half hours of screen time a day on average in the Netherlands. For architecture and urbanism students, this is likely even longer.
While it might now seem like a lifetime, it was not even two years ago when I sat down to write what would become my contribution to the first issue of the newly started students’ magazine INVOLVED. The article was set to investigate the potential benefits architecture can reap from the rapidly developing virtual reality technology in the near future. And while I am happy to look back at the article and see the scenarios I imagined becoming reality, it is humbling to see how severely I underestimated the speed of progress. My predictions, accurate as they might end up, did not account for two factors that changed the VR scene in 2020 – a global pandemic and the resurgence of two separate cult classics.