What’s Poplab?

Poplab is a professional design studio, a manufacturing laboratory, and a research center accredited by MIUR (Italian Ministry of Public Education) based in Veneto, Italy.

We design innovative solutions that connect digital and physical spaces to support human interaction.

The relationship between people and the constructed environment changes rapidly, stimulated by technological transformations and the evolution of social behavior. Our projects are oriented to propose a contemporary perspective for the construction of living and working places, combining possible future visions and practical applications.

What’s T.E.A.M.?

TEAM – Time Enhanced Architectural Modeling – is a research project inside Poplab that was created to facilitate the design of kinetic projects. Time is the ingredient that allows dynamism.

Normally in digital, we create three-dimensional models within two-dimensional media. In fact, today there are not commercially available programs that allow designers to create objects/elements and generate dynamic relationships between them, while immersed in a three-dimensional space. The goal of our research project is to take a first step to close this gap creating an application operating totally in virtual reality that aims to support designers in the creation of architectures, objects, and components with variable shapes and structures, thus exploring the different possible configurations to optimize the comfort and usability of spaces, as well as improving, for example, energy efficiency.

T.E.A.M. is therefore a simulator – one that we are currently developing in the Unity 3D game engine – that is designed to be used exclusively in the 6DOF virtual environment using a commercial VR headset.

One of the key features of the application is that everything that is modified and developed in VR maintains its geometrical characteristics, thus allowing the user to dispose of an informed 3D model at the end of the process. To enable this, the generation of complex geometries and the dynamic relationships between them are processed in real-time by a commercial modeler, McNeel’s Rhinoceros, installed on a local server machine – or eventually on the cloud – thanks to McNeel’s Rhino Compute technology. This gives us the freedom to develop the application for nearly any VR device/platform while maintaining autonomy from the geometry processing workflow. 

A central feature of the research focus is also the analysis and reproduction of a series of case studies, some produced by us, others chosen from existing projects.