Authors: Yang Song, Asterios Agkathidis, Richard Koeck
Abstract: The Augmented Masonry Design project presents experimental research about developing and applying Augmented Reality (AR) technology for customized design algorithms, exploring a real-time, interactive, and spatial-free design method for the early architectural design stage. We aim to resolve the current 2D-based design limitations and provide architects with a 3D-4D immersive perception in AR for a practical and easy-to-use design method. Furthermore, with reference to the Covid-19 pandemic, we propose that this method could break through site accessibility and constraints by breaking the barriers of physical space. Towards this aim, we apply the Augmented Masonry Design into two prototypes: a) user interface (UI) immersive design, in which interactive inputs will communicate with design algorithms in AR through the inputs from the screen-based UI on mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets); b) intuitive interaction immersive design, in which interactive inputs will be translated to design algorithms directly in AR through hand gestures on head-mounted devices (HMD) (e.g., Microsoft HoloLens). Our Findings highlight the advantages of immersive design in the initial stage of architectural drafts, which gives designers better spatial understanding and design creativity, as well as the challenges arising from the limitations of current AR devices and the lack of real physical simulation in the design system.