The chaotic topography of architectural design

The following film was generated from a photographic collage of an architectural workspace. It shows the temporal chaos of layers of drawings and information spread across desks and screens. The model generated removes the initial photographic layer and explores the polygonal mesh that lies beneath as a breathing surface in constant flux.

The technique used to create the model is known as photogrammetry which uses software to interpolate 2Dimensional digital stills to create 3Dimensional forms. It does this by examining each photo uploaded for overlaps. It then interrogates the overlap to calculate depth and other parameters.

This type of technology is still very much in its infancy and as such models created using it often contain errors created by both the user incorrectly capturing the initial material and the computer misreading this information.

The opportunity for miscapture and misreading offer the potential for a new type of digital collage where the user is presented with ambiguous forms that start to have indeterminate surface and scale. Collage in design traditionally relies on aesthetic judgements for the assemblage of different 2Dimensional forms here the computer uses parameters and rules to interpolate the photos into 3Dimensions. Within the film the collage happens through the shifting and juxtaposition of filmic stills and the user reinterpreting the surface.

One potential application of this type of miscapture, misreading and then reinterpretation is as a conceptual design tool. Here designers might start to play with scanning objects and forms to create 3Dimensial meshes that lose their initial surface and scale and allow for ambiguity to creep in and offer new divergent possibilities.