Las Vegas helps us understand how virtual environments fall short
A few months ago, I visited Las Vegas for the fourth time. Not much has changed: It is still a battleground of corporate brands vying for attention. Do you want to buy a Prada bag in Venice, see a concert from hologram Michael Jackson, or try one of Taco Bell’s new Cantina Margaritas? Architecture supports this function by playing a different role than normal: Rather than being an end in itself, it serves to allure, capture, and contain its subjects—and, in turn separate them from their dollars—by turning public space into a stage. In Vegas, workers are the background dancers, and you are the star of the show.
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