|Cyberspace, a term first coined by the
writer William Gibson in his award-winning 1984 novel Neuromancer, has been described
as "an infinite artificial world where "humans navigate in information-based
space" and as "the ultimate computer-human interface" - a world
behind the computer screen as magical and marvelous as the one Alice discovered
behind her looking-glass. However one defines it, the "virtual reality"
known as cyberspace is clearly both the strangest and most radically innovative
of today's computer developments. These original contributions by leading thinkers
in computer science, architecture, the visual arts, philosophy, anthropology,
and industry, provide an insider's view of this (literally) mind-bending new technology.
Cyberspace: First Steps focuses on the theoretical
and conceptual issues involved in the design, use, and effects of virtual environments,
offering fictions, predictions, and proposals - forming a collective search for
appropriate metaphors and possible structures that might provide the basis for
future virtual worlds.
the philosophical basis for cyberspace in ancient thought, the relevance of the
body in virtual realities, basic communications principles for cyberspace, the
coming dematerializaton of architecture, the logic of graphic representation into
the third dimension, the design of a noncentralized system for multiparticipant
cyberspaces, the ramifications of cyberspace for future workplaces, and a great
Michael Benedikt is Professor in
the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught
at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and is CEO of Mental Technology, Inc.