We create design tools for enabling creativity and facilitating better design.
We are create visualisation technology to overlay the world with ideas, bringing your vision into the world sooner.
We develop construction technology that radically changes cost-benefit scenarios for design by enhancing skills and capabilities of the construction industry.
We augment design workflows to improve efficiency and reduce redundancy, enabling new design strategies and applications.
New holographic assembly methodologies allow steel structures to be fabricated from unique parts without the need for drawn documentation, creating design opportunities for intricacy, variability and streamlined assembly.
Holographic modelling software enables users to stream digital models from CAD environments to the Microsoft Hololens in real time. By visualising a holographic representation of the completed design model within the fabrication environment, holographic modelling software invites ad-hoc and adaptive assembly methodologies that do not rely on ground-up construction (as with brickwork or 3d printing) or prefabricated parts. Research into new assembly methodologies will bring about radical changes to the way we design and construct the built environment.
Gramazio and Kohler first demonstrated an architectural application for industrial robots in their project The Programmed Wall, utilising the repeatability and accuracy of the motions of a robotic arm to automate the human bricklayer and introduce subtle differences in the patterns of laid bricks. Though such effects would not be impossible to produce by a skilled human labourer they would require prohibitively excessive time and drawn documentation. However, many assembly processes that rely on an ability to perceive the working environment, require collaboration, combine additive and subtractive fabrication or use volatile or delicate materials remain beyond the capability of industrial robots despite being relatively intuitive for human builders. Mixed reality technology can extend human craftsmanship and enable the construction of complex and differentiated assemblages by replacing drawn documentation with 1:1 models overlaid on the fabrication environment.
The Microsoft Hololens headset is capable of locating itself in space and accurately positioning holographic models that can be shared with multiple collaborators over Wifi. Using several such devices a structure may be constructed by multiple teams simultaneously by referencing a single, shared hologram. Unanticipated events (such as failure or complex material behaviour) can be responded to during fabrication by developing new fabrication strategies or making revisions to the streamed digital model. Dynamic structures can be built without the need for sophisticated simulation of material behaviour, enabling far more complex formal results to be continuously negotiated and designed during their making.
Holographic technology extends the capability of construction teams to reduce costs associated with variation in masonry structures, enabling radical new design possibilities for conventional materials.
Holographic technology facilitates the accurate placement of individual bricks following a dynamic and interactive holographic template. Holographic templates enable the construction of complex masonry structures at greatly reduced risk and cost, eliminating the present need for laborious set out, templates, jigs, documentation and/or formwork.
In design, variation is expensive. Deviation from known construction processes and materials is risky, and consequently costly and infrequent. By extending the current capabilities of bricklayers, holographic technology enables more complex masonry structures to be fabricated that can respond better to design requirements for variability in structure, texture, form and so on. These variations can now be made on standard building sites, with standard materials and tools, and without expensive expertise or design documentation.
Holographic templates will also enable new forms of brickwork to be imagined, designed and constructed and extend the capabilities and skill sets of the craftsmen that construct them. By sharing holographic models between teams of bricklayers, structures can be built from arbitrary starting points and in arbitrary stages. Holographic templates might also be used to construct temporary formwork and enable more complex and novel brick formations.
Holographically assisted masonry differs from robotic brickwork research by Gramazio & Kohler et al at ETH in the pivotal sense that it can harness the expert skills, intuition and craftsmanship of the bricklayer in the fabrication of the wall. While typical masonry construction has been demonstrated to be achievable by custom robotics hardware, State of the art robotic approaches for assembling complex masonry structures are typically dry walls as the application of mortar is beyond the perceptual ability and dexterity of the robotic arm. Similarly, where robotic approaches require complex computer vision systems to avoid unpredictable accumulative error, the consistency of the holographic template allows bricklayers to adapt to minor inconsistencies in brick placement in order to stay within a consistent deviation from the overall structure.