Project Correl is a collaborative experiment in multi-presence virtual reality (VR) illustrating the development of complex assemblies inside virtual space. A shared digital extension to our physical reality that proposes a dynamic new relationship between human creators and machine logic. Powered by Unreal Engine, Project Correl demonstrates the possibilities of immersive technology in architecture.
Founded in 2014, Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group (ZHVR) is working to shape immersive VR technology for architectural design, including real-time modelling and visualisation tools. ZHVR is focussed on the production of VR as a design tool and researching the potential of specific technologies that can enhance the architectural design process.
Partnering with leaders in the development of immersive software and hardware technologies: Unreal Studio, HP Virtual Reality Solutions, NVIDIA and HTC VIVE. ZHVR combined room scale tracking with high powered graphics capabilities to develop Project Correl for Zaha Hadid Architects ‘Design As Second Nature’ exhibition at the University Contemporary Art Museum (MUAC) in Mexico City.
Project Correl invited visitors to the exhibition to collaborate in real-time, experiencing scale variation and digitally augmented design to collectively build a virtual structure that grows progressively with each new contribution.
Visitors are immersed in the virtual environment with up to three others at the same time, moving freely in digital space to select, scale and place components according to their preference and a dynamic set of rules assigned to act depending on the chosen scale of the component.
“This is possible thanks to Unreal Studio, the free real-time technology that helps architects visualize our most creative ideas,” explains Helmut Kinzler, head of ZHVR.
While the virtual construction components and the guiding principles informing the placement algorithms have been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the scale of the components and their positions of placement is entirely up to the visitor.
Individually placed components soon disappear from the VR space unless they are connected with others to form a cluster. The more components connected together within any cluster, the longer it will exist in the VR space. Every cluster or component connected directly to the primary structure within the virtual space will remain as a permanent element of the design.
Captured and now displayed within the exhibition as a scaled 3D-printed model, the emerging virtual structure created from the accumulated placement of components acts as a collective memory.
HP Virtual Reality Solutions coordinated the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer to produce the exhibited scale model. “What I found really compelling about the Correl Project was that it was a completely unique way of participating in the formation of an art experience,” says Scott Rawlings, head of commercial VR go-to-market at HP. “It was a fantastic opportunity for us to be part of the pioneering work.”
Project Correl presents visitors to Zaha Hadid Architects ‘Design As Second Nature’ exhibition at MUAC with a real-time VR experience demonstrating the remarkable possibilities immersive technologies will offer architects to collaborate and design in augmented reality.
Image Credit: Julien Loalo