For the launch of ARCH-ABLE, a website that allows architects to archive and publish 3D data created during their design process, we designed a “DIY store” in the digital world.
A digital DIY store “BABEL” is 3D data in which a hexagonal room is connected infinitely in horizontal and vertical way, and you can freely move and browse the data space by downloading and opening it with 3D CAD. In the short story “The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges, all books of all ages and languages were housed in hexagonal storages repeatedly connected endlessly, and the BABEL displays measured 3D data of all hardware in all ages and areas.
Bolts/nuts, scaffolding pipe, switch plates and curtain rails. It has 3D data of all kinds of common hardware. Combining 3D data of multiple items into a single building, BABEL, allows you to compare shapes and sizes of them, and to come across the one you didn’t know before. As VR becomes more popular, space will become increasingly important as an interface where you browse data.
You can really touch and use the item inside BABEL by printing it out to the real world with a 3D printer. Of course, it can be used simply as dimensional references when designing furniture with 3D CAD, or as props for rendering your work.
As the lineup of hardware increases, BABEL grows. Even though there is no tangible building anywhere in the world, you can output and touch items displayed anywhere as long as you have some tools. The boundary between matter and information/atom and bit becomes ambiguous.
Our unique technique called “laptop photography” was used to visualize this building that exists only in the infosphere. By navigating the 3D data space through the monitor of the laptop, the composition and the camera lens are decided precisely, and the data of the lighting and the reflex board are carefully arranged like the real photo shoot. We created the visual of this illusional architecture by clicking on the application’s button, instead of hitting the shutter button.