With the current exponential growth in the sector of Spatial Data Technology and Mixed Reality display devises we experience an increasing overlap of the physical and digital world. Next to making data spatially visible the attempt is to connect digital information with physical properties. Over the past years a number of research institutions have been laying the ground for these developments. In contemporary architecture architectural design the dominant application of data technology is connected to graphical presentation, form finding and digital fabrication.
The arc/sec Lab for Digital Spatial Operations at the University of Auckland takes a further step. The Lab explores concepts for a new condition of buildings and urban patterns in which digital information is connected with spatial appearance and linked to material properties. The approach focuses on the step beyond digital re-presentation and digital fabrication, where data is re-connected to the multi-sensory human perceptions and physical skills. The work at the Lab is conducted in a cross disciplinary design environment and based on experiential investigations. The arc/sec Lab utilizes large-scale interactive installations as the driving vehicle for the exploration and communication of new dimensions in architectural space. The experiments are aiming to make data “touchable” and to demonstrate real time responsive environments. In parallel they are the starting point for both the development of practice oriented applications and speculation on how our cities and buildings might change in the future.
The article gives an overview of the current experiments being undertaken at the arc/sec Lab. It discusses how digital technologies allow for innovation between the disciplines by introducing real time adaptive behaviours to our build environment and it speculates on the type of spaces we can construct when digital matter is used as a new dynamic building material.
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