Integrating Digital and Physical Design Methods

Topic Description

To allow for participation, design must not be static: it rather needs to be reactive and adaptive and should be implemented on a higher level, using advanced digital modelling techniques based on parametric and procedural modelling, simulation and optimisation. The main goal of the proposed project is to utilize the physical-scale model representation of the design as a universal interface to the detailed procedural digital model. An implementation will require a bidirectional information flow between the physical model and its procedural counterpart. Consequently, a sort of robotic CNC manipulator will be required to physically realize digital information, and advanced 3D-tracking and object-recognition techniques will be needed to feed user modifications to the physical model back to the digital domain. Augmented reality will be used to add an information layer to the abstract physical model.

This approach can be expected to change the way participative design projects are handled, and it will help facilitate an effortless and efficient communication of needs, design ideas, restrictions, consequences and the like.


This topic is supervised by a team of 3 supervisors. Lead supervisor is Christian Kern (Institute of Art and Design). Additional supervisors are Hannes Kaufmann (Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems) and Florian Rist (Institute of Art and Design).