Tangible immersion for ecological design

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Conference Proceeding

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We introduce tangible immersion - virtual reality coupled with tangible interaction - to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in a critcal yet creative design process. Integratng tangible, embodied interaction with geospatial modeling and immersive virtual environments (IVE) can make 3D modeling fast and natural, while enhancing it with realistc graphics and quanttative analytcs. We have developed Tangible Landscape, a technology that links a physical model with a geographic information system and 3D-modeling platorm through a real-tme cycle of interaction, 3D scanning, geospatial computation, and 3D rendering. With this technology, landscape architects, other professionals, and the public can collaboratively explore design alternatives through an iterative process of intuitive ideation, geocomputational analysis, realistc rendering, and critcal analysis. This is demonstrated with a test case for interdisciplinary problem-solving, in which a landscape architect and geoscientst use Tangible Landscape to collaboratively design landforms, hydrologic systems, plantng, and a trail network for a brownfield site. Using this tangible immersive environment they rapidly explored alternative scenarios. We discuss how the partcipants used real-tme analytcs to collaboratively assess trade-offs between environmental and experiental factors, balancing landscape complexity, biodiversity, remediation capacity, and aesthetcs. Together they explored how the relationship between landforms and natural processes affected the performance of the designed landscape. Technologies that couple tangible geospatial modeling with IVEs have the potential to transform the design process by breaking down disciplinary boundaries, but may also offer new ways to imagine space and democratze design.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Disciplines and Disruption - Proceedings Catalog of the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2017

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