Holographic Design and Assembly of Tessellating Building Parts


Mixed reality (MR) environments allow designers to visualise 3d models within physical environments and at scale. Many architects have now embraced Virtual Reality (VR) within their visualisation packages but are yet to realise value potential in MR applications. The reason for this is that building dynamic and interactive experiences for MR devices typically requires extensive programming and development experience within game engines like Unity and Unreal.

Fologram overcomes this problem by providing toolsets for Rhino3D and enables designers to build new MR applications directly within Grasshopper. This way 3d models become dynamic, leverage headset data (position and orientation, gaze and gesture) allowing to explore digital design tools and software workflows within and upon physical space.

In this workshop participants can explore a specific software workflow by creating digital models and physical designs from a pre-defined kit of TESSA building parts, using natural gestures directly within holographic environments. TESSA is a method and design tool that allows to generate user defined families of parts that tessellate in three dimensions this way forming complex architectural structures from repeating parts. TESSA is an authentic form growth engine that integrates manufacturing and construction constraints into its geometric rule set. For this workshop we focus on its ability to provide a predefined family of building parts that combine and recombine to form different design models using the same parts.

Number of Participants: 10-15

Target audience and pre-expected knowledge

The target audience for this workshop are participants from both academia and industry with an interest in MR design process interaction, pre-rationalisation of complex form, tessellation, discrete geometry models and form generation. Participants will need to be familiar with Rhino 3D. Experience with Grasshopper is desirable but not compulsory.

The workshop covers the knowledge sharing and hands-on use of a bottom up design workflow within an interactive MR environment. Participants will first be introduced and will explore the bottom up design tool TESSA, creating customised sets of tessellating building parts and growing global geometries using them. This design model will then be integrated into an MR environment using Fologram. A predefined set of building parts will be employed to create digital designs within a holographic environment using natural gesture. Finally, participants will work in small groups to assemble these designs to form a collection of small physical objects for exhibition and discussion.

Participants will need to bring a laptop running Windows, Rhino 5 or 6 with current service releases installed. They will also need Fologram and TESSA plug-ins installed, which will be provided by the workshop organisers prior to the workshop. Workshop leaders will bring the HoloLens headsets. In addition, we will need basic assembly tools and space to assemble and exhibit the physical prototypes.

More info at https://fologram.com/, http://tessalogic.com/de/

Projects: https://www.vimeo.com/Fologram

Experiments: https://www.instagram.com/fologm

Tentative Programme

Day 1

  • Introduction TESSA for Rhino; background and applications
  • Exploring the TESSA plug-in
  • Exploring the TESSA Grasshopper Component
  • Introduction Fologram for Rhino; background and applications
  • Integrating the TESSA design model into Fologram’s MR environment
  • Holographic design and editing of the design model in small groups
  • Preparing for the holographic design construction

Day 2

  • Holographic design construction
  • Critical reflection and discussion

Workshop Leaders

Katrin Jonas, TESSA

Katrin Jonas is the founder and director of TESSA a spin-off from research around a geometry system that allows designing complex surface structures from customised, repeating parts. She is a designer with specialist expertise in computational design and design engineering of complex architectural structures. Jonas has held the positions of senior designer and research engineer at the engineering consultancy Buro Happold in London, where she worked on prestigious projects by architects such as Foster + Partners, Snøhetta and Zaha Hadid Architects. In her research, Jonas focuses on the development and verification of generative and selective computational processes and their transfer to the built environment. Jonas has been a regular critic at the Architectural Association Diploma School and presented to international design practices and universities including Delft University of Technology and Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm.

Gwyllim Jahn, Fologram

Gwyllim Jahn is the co-founder and CCO of Fologram, a Melbourne based design research practice and technology start-up building a platform for designing and making in mixed reality. Jahn has held academic positions as a lecturer in Architecture at RMIT and as an adjunct at Melbourne and Monash Universities where he developed design research in the fields of mixed reality environments, autonomous robotic fabrication, behavioural design systems and creative applications of machine learning. His work has been published in leading computational design conferences and journals including IJAC, ACADIA and RobArch and he has given talks, presentations and workshops at international institutions including MIT, Stuttgart ICD, UCL, UTS, Tongji and Tsinghua University.