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School of Architecture, CUHK
Research

ARgan (Hong Kong) by
Prof. Kristof Crolla

ARgan is a geometrically complex bamboo sculpture that relied on Mixed Reality (MR) for its joint creation by multiple sculptors and used the latest Augmented Reality (AR) technology to guide its manual fabrication.

ARgan was designed and built by the research team directed by Prof. Kristof Crolla and Mr. Garvin Goepel at the School of Architecture of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), best known for its multiple-award-winning “ZCB Bamboo Pavilion”.

ARgan was built at CUHK in the fall of 2019 in collaboration with Fologram and 30 participants of a design-and-build workshop on the integration of AR in construction. The sculpture’s design consists of a large, geometrically complex shape purposefully created to be most challenging to build with only traditional means and methods. The devised construction workflow responded to this challenge by including holographic setups to interactively guide the manufacturing process. These setups were created on multiple devices, such as a series of Microsoft HoloLenses and several handheld Smartphones, all linked simultaneously to a single digital base model.

The project critically evaluates the experience of extending recent AR and MR tool developments towards applications that centre on collaborative creative production. Using ARgan as a demonstration project, the research team assessed the development workflow on its ability to transform a geometrically complex, digitally drafted design into its final physical built form, highlighting the necessary strategic integration of variability as an opportunity to relax notions on design precision and exact control.

ARgan is a plea for digital technology’s ability to stimulate dialogue and collaboration in creative production and augmented craftsmanship, thus providing greater agency and more diverse design output.

ARgan demonstrates that common notions on building accuracy, tolerance and allowance may need recalibrating, as the hyper precision made possible through traditional CNC or robotic fabrication setups at this point does not seem commensurate to what is possible with augmented manual production. Further AR-driven design and construction related research, tailored to specific materials and craftsmanship, is needed to identify how these technologies can positively affect local construction solutions . With the arrival of easily accessible AR/MR technologies, opportunities present themselves for increased productive dialogue and collaboration between designers and craftsmen, providing greater agency and prospects for more diverse design output.

Project Location: Shatin, Hong Kong S.A.R.
Dates: 7-11 November 2019

CUHK DESIGN & RESEARCH TEAM

  • Principal Investigator (PI): Prof. Kristof Crolla
  • Research Team: Mr. Garvin Goepel (Project Lead), Mr. Nick van den Berg & Mr. Cameron Newnham (Fologram), Mr. Julien Klisz (Video Design)

WORKSHOP AND CONSTRUCTION TEAM

Prof. Kristof Crolla, Garvin Goepel, Nick van den Berg, Cameron Newnham, Canossa Chan, Izk K Chan, Kam Wo Chan, Peter Chan, Tsz Sun Ovan Chan, Wang Fung Chan, Hoi Yan Cheung, Dominic Co, Shasha Du, Chun Hin Jacky Fong, Mengdi Guo, Kunning Hao, Chung Hei Ho, Kevin Ka Ho Ho, Maximilian Wolfgang Hoeppler, Jason Hu, Shing Fung Adwin Keung, Ho Yu Lam, Yip Fay Lau, Ho Wai Ian Leung, Siying Li, Shuk Man Lo, Wing Sze Ngan, Long Wun Adabelle Poon, Ling Sum Evangeline So, Wenyan Xue, Linlan Zeng

IN COLLABORATION WITH

Fologram Pty. Ltd.

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Mr. Raymond Leung (CITF)

This CUHK workshop was funded by a grant from the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) (Project No. 3200).

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