Projections of Reality SG2013

TypSmartgeometry Workshop

Projections of reality engages in augmenting design processes involving physical models with real time spatial analysis and visualisation.

The cluster explores techniques of real time spatial analysis of architectural and urban design models: how physical models can be augmented with real-time 3D capture and analysis, enabling the architect to interact with the physical model whilst obtaining feedback from a computational analysis. We investigate possible workflows that close the cycle of designing and model making, analysing the design and feeding results back into the design cycle by projecting them back onto the physical model.

On a technical level, we are addressing the challenge of dealing with complex, unstructured data from real time scanning, e.g. a point cloud, which needs processing before it can be used in urban analysis. We will investigate strategies to extract information of the urban form targeted for design processes, using real time scanning devices (Microsoft Kinect, hand held laser scanners, etc.), open source 3D reconstruction software (reconstructMeQT) and post-processing of the input through parametric modelling (e.g. Processing, Rhino scripting, Generative Components).

The goal of the workshop will be to create a working prototype of a physical urban model that is augmented with real- time analysis. We will work with the cluster participants to formulate a design concept of the prototype and to break down the challenge into individual modules, e.g. analysing and cleaning the geometry, algorithms for real time analysis, projecting imagery onto the physical model.


Scanning the physical model with realtime Kinect 3D data. Importing raw data stream to Processing via Eclipse and performing cleaning and grouping operations using intelligent, self-developed cluster algorithms reducing calculation time from exponential to linear. Calculating convex hulls and minimal orientated bounding boxes to reconstruct precisely matching orthogonal 3D-geometry. Passing optimized geometry information via wireless OSC-connection to eclipse, rhino and blender for further processing.

Analysing a group of buildings in an urban context

Visibility Analysis : Views/Vistas for a person walking within the given/ scanned collection of blocks in plan. We also analysed the vistas for 2 persons at different locations on the site.
There are some overlapping areas the 2 persons can see that are highlighted as common space. This tool can come to use to work out the best location for open spaces/ green areas.

Façade Visibility : Visual Representation of areas on facades that are visible to a person walking through the urban site. The visual data is colour coded per the distance and is updated as the scanned objects/ buildings are moved through a live stream of points.

Floor Area Ratios and Overall Area of Buildings : Data Analysis of building areas are calculated and summed up to obtain the F.A.R (Floor Area Ratio) to be able to gather information and observe changes as buildings/floors are added or taken out from the physical model.

Walking Distance Analysis : Gradient Mapping on ground plane to represent the distance to travel from a particular location.


The information is displayed using four projectors suspended from the ceiling. They had been calibrated with an interactive tool that is matching the physical and virtual scene. A custom renderer receives the analysis data and renders it in real time on the four projectors.

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