Indulge in an immersive digital exhibition

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  As somebody who has just finished the daily toil of office work, how does it feel to get inside a computer screen and have an immersive experience with the design elements of an ongoing exhibition? Well, it’s not an art or photography show that we are talking about, it’s an interface that holds infinite space and appears like a sober Mount Doom shown in the movie The Lord of the Rings.

The only difference despite the sunset-like light that the interface is lit up with, one sees endless loops of trimmed paper hanging all around. And how do you enter this space? By entering through a paper tunnel on your screen. Further ahead, you come across independent stations that appear to be suspended in a space-time axis. There you come across billboards showcasing designs in different shapes, colours and dimensions. The best part is that you become an Avatar and another one is over there to show you around. But is this just virtual? “Yes and no.

These are architectural design works created by students in real life that they created using paper-cups, straws and other disposable items. The loops that you see aren’t just random design pieces, they are based on certain algorithms,” informs Takbir Fatima, Hyderabad-based architect and director of Fractals Workshop. The workshop was conducted a few weeks ago in association with Boston Architectural College. The workshop was a week before during which they developed the designs. 

“Since this is a virtual environment, even the viewers can create designs on their own. Once the model is created, it looks like a virtual design. One of these sculptures will be made in real life and used by the Government of Telangana,” shares the M. Arch alumnus of London School of Architecture. Participants worked from home by first using paper to explore different geometric forms based on a set of rules of growth or algorithms. 

These designs were then translated into digital 3D models and uploaded to the virtual reality platform, Mozilla Hubs, and arranged in the form of an immersive digital exhibition. Just like a gaming environment, this exhibition can be visited from a smartphone, computer or using a VR headset. “One can create one’s own avatar and enter the space, which is a social VR platform, allowing real people to visit, meet and interact with others virtually. Using your keyboard you can fly through space, explore it and even take a selfie! Later, the students can use these to design actual buildings,” shares Takbir. 

It’s an infinite space, and a guest can actually lose his/her path, but because the interface is of gaming and there are boundaries one can actually not be lost. “Recently GHMC commissioned a design library from us before the lockdown. Now, we have decided to convert it into a virtual one and people can actually enter and see as to how spaces feel before the construction is built,” adds the 34-year-old architect. The library will be hosted on the website of her organisation DesignAware. 

The Fractals Workshop is a series of generative design and 3D thinking workshops architects, designers, students or anyone with a passion for art, design and mathematics. Participants create their own algorithms or rules of growth based on the patterns found in natural systems, such as fractals. Fractals are a rule-based geometry found everywhere in nature: trees, leaves, pine cones, cauliflower, roses are all fractals. 

The exhibition is free and open to all. 

— Saima Afreen [email protected]  @Sfreen


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