Ho-Low-Tech: Making in Mixed Reality

Sofia Colabella, Alessandro Liuti and I completed a 3-day workshop on “Mixed Reality”, directed by Fologram and NExT Lab at the Melbourne School of Design (MSD).

Workshop Overview

Mixed reality overlays physical environments with digital content (holograms), fixed in place and at full scale. Holograms can be used as direct and dynamic instructions for fabrication, with dramatic implications for the production of architecture, art and design. The workshop explores these implications by fabricating physical prototypes using tools and workflows that allow mixed reality applications to be developed directly within Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The workshop focuses on how to leverage the collaborative potential of working within shared MR environments (using Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets), build custom trackers and hardware for interacting with digital models in physical space and augment the existing ecosystem of Rhinoceros and Grasshopper plugins with holographic user interfaces.

Our group built a prototype that highlights the principal stress lines of a shell structure. The design was inspired by Heinz Isler’s service station on the Bern-Zurich highway. The digital model was developed using Karamba3D for Grasshopper, and the physical model was made of bamboo rods. We decided to call our prototype: “HoLowTech”.

We are excited to share with you some photos and videos of our first experience with mixed reality.


Developing the digital model with Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and Karamba3D:


Getting used to the Hololens:


Then, mixing virtual and real:


Placing the first edge beam:


Completing the gridshell with two headsets:


Almost done…


The final model:


Have we done a good job?


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