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Augmented Reality-based Collaboration - ARgan, a bamboo art installation case study

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Abstract

ARgan is a geometrically complex bamboo sculpture that relied on Mixed Reality (MR) for its joint creation by multiple sculptors and used latest Augmented Reality (AR) technology to guide manual fabrication actions. It was built at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the fall of 2019 by thirty participants of a design-and-build workshop on the integration of AR in construction. As part of its construction workflow, holographic setups were created on multiple devices, including a series of Microsoft HoloLenses and several handheld Smartphones, all linked simultaneously to a single digital base model to interactively guide the manufacturing process. This paper critically evaluates the experience of extending recent AR and MR tool developments towards applications that centre on creative collaborative production. Using ARgan as a demonstrator project, its developed workflow is assessed on its ability to transform a geometrically complex digitally drafted design to its final physically built form, highlighting the necessary strategic integration of variability as an opportunity to relax notions on design precision and exact control. The paper concludes with a plea for digital technology’s ability to stimulate dialogue and collaboration in creative production and augment craftsmanship, thus providing greater agency and more diverse design output.
  
      
   
     

        
           
         
          
           
           
       
        
         
        
          
       
        
          
          
         
         
          
       
       
   
   
 
         
          
            
          
         
           
           
           
          
          
            
               
          
     
            
            
           
            
           
            
            
            
      
            
        
          
         
        
           
         
      
            
       
           
         
          
         
         
      
          
         
         
               
         
           
            
           
            
         
          
          
 
           
         
       
   
          
 
           
         
           
            
           
           
            
        
              
          
           
           
       
           
       
             
         
         
         
       
            
          
        
          
            
         
           
     
     
   
           
          
              
           
             
             
            
    
      
         
          
              
             
            
            
          
           
             
           
            
           
    
           
            
           
           
        
                
          
              
              
   
          
            
       
            
   
          
     
 
          
            
          
          
          
         
          
         
             
            
          
           
         
           
            
         
  
         
            
          
             
    
   
         
          
            
             
            
          
           
        
          
          
           
           
             
         
           
            
         
         
           
           
  
     
       
          
 
        
       
        
         
         
         
      
          
           
         
          
         
        
           
          
         
         
        
           
         
           

   
    
          
           
          
             
            
         
         
        
            
          
          
          
         
           
         
   
 
          
        
           
          
         
          
           
        
          
          
        
          
     
           
         
         
          
          
       
         
      

          
         
          
          
            
            
             
           
               
           

              
           
         

             
         
 
             
     
           
        
   
               
          
   
              
              
     
               
           
        

            
      
              
           
    
... Fabrication in augmented reality has proven to be an effective and expedient method for forming and assembling complex structures from steel (Jahn et al. 2018), bricks (Mitterberger et al. 2020;Jahn et al. 2019) and steam bent timber (Jahn, Wit, and Pazzi 2019). Recent work has also demonstrated augmented reality applications working with flexible materials such as bent bamboo (Goepel and Crolla 2020) or non-uniform and unprocessed timber (Lok 2022). However there remain few examples of augmented reality fabrication approaches to forming complex surface topologies due to the challenge of correctly judging surface depth with current generation augmented reality displays. ...
... Artillion Studio utilized augmented reality to form a complex double curved sculpture from hand-bent pieces of stainless-steel flat bar ("Inferno Redux/ Wind Stone" 2018). Kristof Crolla and Garvin Goepel have demonstrated the use of augmented reality to form double curved surfaces from interwoven strips of bent bamboo (Goepel and Crolla 2020). Yang Song completed a project called BloomShell as part of Soomeen Hahm's research lab at the Bartlett that explored the use of thermoplastic sheets to form and assemble double curved surfaces from augmented reality guides (Song 2020). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Augmented reality environments have been demonstrated to assist with architectural fabrication tasks by displaying construction information at full scale and in context. However, this information typically needs to be sparse in order to prevent virtual models occluding a fabricators view of the physical environment, and this limits the application of augmented reality to tasks such as surface forming. To address this issue, we propose a method for guided fabrication in augmented reality using real time comparisons between depth scans of as built conditions and target conditions defined by design models. Through the design and fabrication of a small proof of concept prototype from paper strips, we demonstrate that guided fabrication is adequate for high speed, approximate and ad-hoc fabrication of complex surface geometries without the need for extensive rationalization for fabrication constraints or explicit documentation of parts. We further show how this method generalizes to other processes such as additive fabrication or part placement and speculate on the implications of accessible real time depth data from the HoloLens within Grasshopper.
... In recent years, there have been remarkable advances in mixed-reality technologies for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). Most augmented and virtual applications in AEC focus on structured manual activities (Goepel 2020 Collaborative activities in the field of AEC can involve a plethora of different stakeholders with heterogeneous backgrounds and expertise. Furthermore, stakehold-ers can involve remote collaborators, ranging from on-site to off-site users. ...
Chapter
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Most augmented and virtual applications in architecture, engineering, and construction focus on structured and predictable manual activities and routine cases of information exchange such as quality assurance or design review systems. However, collaborative design activities such as negotiation, task specification, and interaction are not yet sufficiently explored. This paper presents a mixed-reality immersive collaboration system that enables bi-directional communication and data exchange between on-site and off-site users, mutually accessing a digital twin. Extended Reality Collaboration (ERC) allows building site information to inform design decisions and new design iterations to be momentarily visualized and evaluated on-site. Additionally, the system allows the developed design model to be fabricated with holographic instructions. In this paper, we present the concept and workflow of the developed system, as well as its deployment and evaluation through an experimental case study. The outlook questions how such systems could be transferred to current design and building tasks and how such a system could reduce delays, avoid misunderstandings and eventually increase building quality by closing the gap between the digital model and the built architecture.KeywordsMixed realityVirtual realityInteractive designCollaborative virtual environmentsRemote collaborationImmersive virtual environment
... Beyond improving productivity of conventional construction, augmented reality may also enable new approaches to design and construction by adding digital precision to traditional hand crafts. Woven structures are one example where augmented reality allows the innate flexibility and elasticity of bamboo to form curves described by digital models (Goepel & Crolla, 2020). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Digital models viewed in augmented reality can serve as guides to form and assemble parts during construction and reduce the need to build temporary formwork or sub structures. However, static digital models are often inadequate for describing the behaviour of material that is dynamically formed over time, leading to breakages and difficulty following augmented reality guides during assembly. To address this issue, we propose a method for fast and approximate simulation of material behaviour using a goal-based physics solver, enabling the design and fabrication of steam bent timber parts using an adaptable system of sparse formwork. Through the design and construction of a pavilion from steam bent timber we demonstrate that approximate simulation of material behaviour is adequate for wide tolerance construction by hand and eye in augmented reality, avoiding part breakages and accumulative error.
... While it retains a lot of openness through its abstract nature it is well equipped to be taken more literally. Modules could then be fabricated in a fab lab and constructed by laymen using tested augmented reality assembly processes (Goepel and Crolla, 2020), keeping the spirit of the fab movement in the project. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Inspired by recent developments in architecture around the topic of discreteness and the movement that emerged around fab labs, Project DisCo was created as an immersive sandbox game for playful co-design of modular structures. This paper investigates the potential of Project DisCo as a design tool for participatory projects at the scale of public spaces. Describing ways of scenario building, we propose a module kit to play out a design brief for a participatory project, introducing different methods of shaping the interaction of participants in a design session. The paper concludes by reviewing a design outcome from an experimental design session with four participants.
... As demonstrated by work from peers, applications can easily be diversified to other trades, such as bricklaying (Franco 2019), plywood construction (Jahn, Wit, and Pazzi 2019), steel artwork production (Jahn et al. 2018), bamboo construction (Goepel and Crolla 2020), and many more, indicating that a paradigm shift in manual production has been set in motion. Rather than surrendering human skill to automation in manufacturing, AR enhances human capacities to participate in complex processes through simplified instructions (Goepel 2019). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses novel methods for and advantages of integrating augmented reality (AR) and photogrammetry in hand clay-sculpting workflows. These techniques permit nontrained users to achieve higher precision during the sculpting process by holographically overlaying instructions from digital 3D source geometry on top of the sculpting material. By employing alternative notational systems in design implementation methods, the research positions itself in a postdigital context aimed at humanizing digital technologies. Throughout history, devices have been developed to increase production, such as Henry Dexter’s 1842 “Apparatus for Sculptors” for marble sculpting. Extrapolating from this, the workflow presented in this paper uses AR to overlay extracted information from 3D models directly onto the sculptor’s field of vision. This information can then become an AR-driven guidance system that assists the sculptor. Using the Microsoft HoloLens, holographic instructions are introduced in the production sequence, connecting the analog sculpture fabrication directly with a digital environment, thus augmenting the craftspeople’s agency. A series of AR-aided sculpting methods were developed and tested in a demonstrator case study project that created a small-scale clay copy of Henry Moore’s Sheep Piece (1971–1972). This paper demonstrates how user-friendly software and hardware tools have lowered the threshold for end users to develop new methods that straightforwardly facilitate and improve their crafts’ effectiveness and agency. This shows that the fusion of computational design technology and AR visualization technology can innovate a specific craft’s design and production workflow, opening the door for further application developments in more architecture-specific fabrication contexts.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper focusses on teaching the integration of Augmented (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), combined referred to as Extended-Reality (XR), and photogrammetry technology into handicraft using an online-taught digital fabrication workshop as an educational case study. Set up in response to restrictions from Covid-19, workshop "Secret Whispers & Transmogrifications" had students and instructors around the world participate in a course that challenged our understanding of educating craft and technology without the necessity of physical presence. The integration of AR into craftsmanship enhances architectural design and fabrication processes as it overlays computation-driven information onto the hands of the end user. These computer-numerically-controlled workflows incorporate and rely on manual actions as an integral part of a process that is typified by inevitable, unpredictable, human error. In doing so, the workshop questions common infatuation with precision in digital fabrication and construction by striving for alternative approaches that embrace the inaccuracies and imprecisions innate to technologically-augmented human craftsmanship. Participants took part in a hands-on clay modelling "secret whispers" experiment that was designed to introduce theoretical concepts and applications of XR technology into the production workflows. This paper concludes by highlighting that the accessibility of today's technology enables AR-enhanced craftsmanship to be successfully taught remotely and online.
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