In 2020 the University of South Australia, the SIDA Foundation, and the David Roche Foundation awarded a two-year Research Fellowship in Interior Design and Decoration to the project The Doppelgänger, developed by Dr Rochus Urban Hinkel, Associate Professor for Architecture and Design at the Melbourne School of Design at The University of Melbourne.
The Doppelgänger is an investigation into the potentials and promises as well as the limitations and specificities of digital technologies in design. David Roche Foundation’s Fermoy House and its collection of decorative arts has been the site of investigation. The house and parts of its collection have been documented through video recordings, 360º photography, and 3D scans – creating digital copies of the Foundation’s collection and spaces.
The Doppelgänger exhibition presents digital copies of four selected items in the collection. By experimenting with alterations of original artefacts ‘uncanny’ new characters emerge. The series of new characters is called Fabulations. Each artwork makes specific reference to mystical fables, creating another layer of associations. Their new aesthetic forms offer novel perspectives, create alternative realities, and enable explorations of new forms of representation.
The exhibition in Fermoy House presents original videos displayed on digital screens. Using their own handheld devices, like smartphones, visitors can also view and access digital copies of the artefacts in Augmented Reality. The artworks presented are developed by Rochus Urban Hinkel in collaboration with Melissa Iraheta.
The Doppelgänger exhibition is one of two exhibitions presented during the duration of the Fellowship – it is accompanied by a series of online conversations.
Dr Rochus Urban Hinkel is Associate Professor for Architecture and Design and Co-director of the Advanced Digital Design and Fabrication (ADD+F) research hub at the Melbourne School of Design at The University of Melbourne. Rochus’s research and practice focuses on digital and analogue realities (AR/VR/XR) which he explores through artistic experimentations, spatial installations and immersive environments for cultural storytelling, exhibitions and museums, archives and heritage.
Melissa Iraheta is the Coordinator of the New Experimental Technology (NExT) Lab at the Melbourne School of Design at The University of Melbourne and holds a Master of Architecture by RMIT University.