From 28th March to 2nd April I had been in Copenhagen and I attended the Smartgeometry Workshop and Conference. This year the venue was the Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture hosted by the Centre for IT and Architecture (CITA) in Copenhagen.
I participated in the Interacting with the City (IwC) cluster, led by Przemek Jaworski, Flora Salim, and Martin Kaftan. The cluster have worked with a series of tangible table prototypes using Kinect and the online real time data sources as Google Maps, Twitter and weather data.
There was different setups, where the user can interact in real time with the digital model with hands gestures (single and multi touch), or physical objects on the table. The movements and gestures are captured with cameras or kinect controller that is also capable to scan the entire scene as depth data and use the resulting point cloud information to reconstruct the 3D geometry.
My group was interested in environmental and climatic responsive design and we developed the project called “Hands on Ofelia’s Beach” (Ofelia Beach is the Royal Danish Theatre's outdoor stage and lounge area on Kvæsthusmolen in central Copenhagen).
The project explores the interaction with the digital model through the use of tangible objects to experiment form and shape. The architects and designers can use a physical building blocks, made of foam or paper, to explore the effect of the design on the site in regard to the sun and wind conditions. Interactively the designer can try to find the best configuration of the blocks that can perform the best local wind conditions and the best exposure to solar radiation.
We used Kinect as 3D geometry scanner to capture the objects on the table, and the real time data from the Copenhagen Airport weather station. The 3D point cloud from the Kinect and the wind direction and speed is used in Processing to calculate the 2D flow simulation around the objects using a Navier-Stokes algorithm (Based on code by Martin Kaftan) .
The physical model captured from Kinect with the Processing environment is continually being streamed to the digital model in Bentley GenerativeComponents (GC) giving the opportunity to record the different design stages and continue the design in a digital environment. The connection is made by UbiMash (developed by Flora Slim), which is able to export the point cloud and convert it into 3D geometry. Inside GC was possible to connect the model with Ecotect using the gc-ecotect-link to get the incident solar radiation and the incident daylight levels of the objects on the table.
The connection between software was pretty fast (excluding the computation time that depends on accuracy and mesh complexity) and allows to get the analysis values directly inside GC and could be used as input to new features as shading devices or openings. The next step was to improve the design with the integration of user defined feature to develop the design further. Any changes in the physical model is computed and updates the digital one, computing new analysis and visualized back to the table giving a interactive design feedback loop.
SmartGeometry 2011 Copenhagen
Interacting with City Cluster (Przemek Jaworski, TU Wroclaw – Flora Salim, SIAL, RMIT – Martin Kaftan, Echorost)