Immersive Virtual Forces – The implementation of AR, VR and MR technologies in structural design explorations

May 28, 2019
17:00 - 21:00

Berlin Open Lab

Searching for new teaching concepts for basics in structural mechanics for architects and designer, we have developed a series of prototypical digital tools using augmented and virtual reality environments to a provide a more playful introduction into the abstract world of theoretical models of the built environment. The first experiment (StructAR) is based of idea of an interaction between user and physical objects. The objects – 2D basic structural systems like beams or portal frames are visually augmented by means of projected images of a synchronous simulation of the theoretical model of the same system. The visual augmentation provides the user with immediate insight into the systems’ structural performance by displaying internal forces (bending moments, axial forces and shear forces) as well as reactions resulting directly from the user-imposed deflections. This prototype provides an arguably more engaging and intuitive way in which to interact with and learn about structural systems and principals than comparable teaching aids. The following experiment called StructVR was developed as an even more immersive and fun virtual environment to assist in the teaching of structural engineering theory by allowing the user to virtually interact with and impose deflections on 3D structural systems e.g. truss, bridge, cable net, cantilever, tower etc. and then to observe the system’s deformation pattern and the distribution of internal forces and reactions which are rendered in real-time directly in the high-fidelity virtual environment. A third experiment StructMR was focusing the idea to develop a hybrid and somehow more native design environment for structural design in the early design stages of an architectural projects. Here the computational pipeline of the VR prototype were combined with the Fologram plugin for Grasshopper and a Microsoft Hololens headset which facilitates easy interaction between real environment an digital structural systems.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Gengnagel (UdK – Architecture)
Dipl.-Ing. Saqib Aziz (UdK – Architecture)

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