The Use of Augmented Reality (AR) In Bamboo Architecture
Explore the transformative potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in reshaping bamboo architecture from design to construction and education.
With its unique blend of form, function, and sustainability, bamboo architecture stands apart with complex geometries, tridimensional spatiality, and a heavy reliance on craftsmanship. For many years, physical models have been central to materializing architects' visions and conveying intricate designs to the skilled craftspeople responsible for construction.
Now, we're in the midst of a paradigm shift. The digital revolution is bringing computer-aided and parametric design tools to the forefront, unlocking bamboo's potential in ways never before imagined. This evolution presents exciting possibilities and new challenges for builders and craftsmen alike.
The burning question now is: Can we effectively translate these cutting-edge design innovations to the hands-on world of the craftsmen who bring these visions to life?
At a recent 11 day Bamboo Build and Design Course at Bamboo U, we immersed ourselves in a world where technology meets tradition, experiencing the groundbreaking blend of bamboo construction and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. Guided by the expertise of Dr. Kristof Crolla and Dr. Garvin Goepel from the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, we embarked on an exciting journey to build not one, but two, charming grid shell domes, under the aid of holographic instructions.
In this article, we explore this dynamic intersection of tradition and technology in the world of bamboo architecture.
From CAD to Craft: The Augmented Reality Revolution
As we further delve into the digital era, Augmented Reality (AR) stands out as an innovative catalyst for reshaping the landscape of architectural practice. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), which immerses users in a wholly digital environment, AR superimposes digital data onto our physical world. This subtle yet powerful distinction positions AR as an experience enhancer rather than a substitute for reality.
In the context of bamboo architecture, AR's appeal becomes particularly irresistible. By enabling in-site visualization of complex models, AR makes it possible to bridge the gap between designers and craftsmen. It goes beyond the limitations of traditional methods, providing a clearer depiction of design elements that can be challenging to convey on paper or in physical models.
In this sense, AR technology holds the potential to democratize craftsmanship by replacing technical jargon with intuitive, holographic instructions. This shift from drawing-based communication to immersive, AR-infused instruction paves the way for a future where anyone, regardless of professional training, can participate in the creation of elaborate bamboo structures.
Learning By Doing: AR's Game-changing Role in Bamboo Education
AR serves as a tool not just for design, but also for education and training within bamboo architecture. It helped to mitigate the distinction between student and craftsman, providing workshop participants with the digital resources to step confidently into the role of skilled artisans. As we’ve heard from some students during our course, “with AR, anyone can become a craftsperson”.
AR's role was integral from inception to the completion of our gridshell domes. It assisted with everything—from the precise marking of foundations and dome bases, preparation of the materials in the required dimensions, and grid assemblies on-site. After the dome was pop-up by students, AR was also useful to verify and adjust the dome's geometry. It was inspiring to watch AR technology reshape our perception of construction processes and fuel the hands-on instincts of the participants.
Structural Engineer from Brazil, specializing in Bamboo Structures and Bio Architecture. With a multidisciplinary approach, Rodrigo has been teaching, designing, and collaborating with various Bamboo players around the world. For Rodrigo, bamboo is a tool to create meaningful change in people and the environment.
August 19-30, 2023
The 11 Day Bamboo Build & Design Course in Bali
In 11 days, we'll show you how to build bamboo structures we’ll share all that it takes to build with nature.