The University of Tasmania, Architecture and Design is rapidly becoming a national leader in the field of mixed reality design, construction and education. Unlike virtual reality, mixed reality overlays the real world with digital information, in place and at full scale. This allows a wearer to interact with people, machines, tools and materials all around them. Mixed reality has the potential to revolutionise how we design and build, and the University of Tasmania has recognised this potential with the acquisition of several Microsoft Hololens headsets.
All of these headsets are equipped with Fologram, a mixed reality software platform for experiencing digital models in the real world as holograms. By using Fologram to share holograms with multiple headsets, students and tutors can have conversations about design proposals within mixed reality or teams can work in parallel to construct complex structures from holographic instructions.
Architecture & Design hosted the Fologram team from the 19th-23rd of February to run an intensive design build workshop exploring the idea of making in mixed reality. Students and staff invented completely new methodologies, techniques and designs for mixed reality fabrication, using interactive holographic models rather than drawings, labels, jigs or templates. The automation of labelling and locating of CNC cut parts in a structure, augmenting a lathe with a hologram or visualising physical simulations at scale on the HoloLens are just a few of the applications taken from idea to reality during the 5 days of the workshop.
The workshop also focused on architectural scale design and fabrication, with students and staff working in teams to build a full scale dry stacked brick wall (a certain Head of Discipline may have been seen assisting, as pictured below), sweeping bamboo structures and a 7m+ tall tower of wooden CNC parts which is permanently fixed in the workshop. The towers anchor bolts placement into the concrete floor were done via the holographic template.
Architecture & Design plans on continuing exploring on how augmented reality can be used in the architectural and construction industry, and you can expect to see the tool being utilised in classes this year.
Article by: Nick van den Berg, Fologram