Authors: GARVIN GOEPEL and KRISTOF CROLLA
ARgan is a geometrically complex bamboo sculpture that relied on Mixed Reality (MR) for its joint creation by multiple sculptors and used latest Augmented Reality (AR) technology to guide manual fabrication actions. It was built at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the fall of 2019 by thirty participants of a design-and-build workshop on the integration of AR in construction. As part of its
construction workflow, holographic setups were created on multiple devices, including a series of Microsoft HoloLenses and several handheld Smartphones, all linked simultaneously to a single digital base model to interactively guide the manufacturing process. This paper critically evaluates the experience of extending recent AR and MR tool developments towards applications that centre on creative collaborative production. Using ARgan as a demonstrator project, its developed workflow is assessed on its ability to transform a geometrically complex digitally drafted design to its final physically built form, highlighting the necessary strategic integration of variability as an opportunity to relax notions on design precision and exact control. The paper concludes with a plea for digital technology’s ability to stimulate dialogue and collaboration in creative production and augment craftsmanship, thus providing greater agency and more diverse design output.