First, 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.?

T.E.A.M. – 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.

We combine design and digital technology to create two kinds of VR experiences:

Original Experiences – we develop virtual narratives of architecture, some we have designed and some that already exist.

Design in VR – we offer a platform in virtual reality where it is possible for architects and designers to create and modify their projects in a simulated world, varying in real time the characteristics of the objects and the environment.

Design in VR was born as a R&D project from a specific consideration: normally, in digital, we design by creating three-dimensional models on two-dimensional devices. We have not found any software on the market that allows designers to create structures and generate dynamic relationships between them while immersed in a three-dimensional space. Dealing every day with the design of spaces, we imagined that such a tool could be extremely useful and we are therefore realizing it thanks to VR technology.

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. 

Our experiences are developed in the Unity 3D game engine and designed to be used exclusively in the 6DOF virtual environment using a commercial VR headset.