Image for post
Image for post

Ontological design is the design discipline concerned with designing human experience. It does so by operating under one essential assumption: that by designing objects, spaces, tools and experiences, we are in fact designing the human being itself. And the ability to design human beings is going to be central to survive the technological shifts of the coming decades with even a semblance of agency.

The feedback loop

The key assumption of ontological design is this: when we create the objects and contexts that surround us, we are in fact designing our very selves. …


Image for post
Image for post

FOREWORD: This article will have two voices. One is more or less rational and is careful with connecting ideas; read it like non-fiction, if such a thing even exists. Another is more bold; adventurous, like the perception of a fictional writer or a poet on a rationally induced trance state. It is necessary. Just a head’s up.

In many traditions throughout the planet we can find traces of the worship of fetishes. Fetishes are objects considered to hold supernatural power. These objects — they can be statues, dolls, even elements of the natural world — are believed to have an existence beyond its mere physical materiality. They are omens, signs of the supernatural, of greater abstract forces that we, small limited humans, can only perceive by symbolic and divinatory means. …

It’s not about designing space. It’s about designing people through space.

Image for post
Image for post
“Modernist Dream”, one of the four speculative scenarios of the Next Nature Habitat VR experience (Created and Developed by Daniel Fraga)

It is hard to find VR content that doesn’t derive at least some of its value from the technological novelty that the medium represents. The so-called “gimmick” value still stops us from perfecting a form of expression that is truly native to the medium. It’s time to change that.

VR is not film. VR is not theatre. VR is not architecture. VR is VR.

This text is part of what I believe is necessary for this transition towards the goal of a full-fledged VR artistic practice. Key to that will be the concept of Ontological Design: design that is focused on the human experience and its essence. …


Daniel Fraga

It’s not about designing space. It’s about designing people through space. Get in touch!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store