n-Visions: Towards a New Instrument of Perception in Architecture
Augmented Reality and Physical Computing: Mediators between the Virtual and the Physical in Architecture
The research named n-Visions integrates augmented reality gaming technology, physical computing-based sensors, and architectural visualization to facilitate the design process throughout its various phases. The study explores a novel real-time communication channel between the physical and virtual realities, fostering a new mode of perception of existing architectural environments through their informational conditions.
Built architectural interiors are full of physically sourced empirical data that we cannot see, such as temperature, humidity, electromagnetic radiation, and more. These environmental parameters act and react, as they are influenced by a plethora of internal and external conditions such as geometry, materials, human activities, and external environmental conditions, affecting in turn, our well-being, emotions, and functioning. How can we harness these informational flows in service of architectural design?
In this context, physical computing-based sensors and augmented reality are two technologies connecting the physical and virtual worlds; however, the coupling of these technologies remains largely unexplored territory. What modes of interaction between physical and virtual realities are triggered by conjoining both technologies? And what design possibilities do these new modes bear?
The research demonstrates that coupling architectural computation tools with physical computing-based sensors and augmented reality fosters a cybernetic communication channel between the physical and virtual realities. This connection provides the opportunity to observe the built environment through its informational conditions, which are anchored in a design-visualization process. This, in turn, enables the active exploration of the environment in real-time and within context, towards design activity inherently associated with sustainable approaches.
Associate Professor Aaron Sprecher