Arborescent AR

Author: Guro Sollid


This project takes as its starting point an arboretum outside Copenhagen, whose current accumulated and intertwined state highly contrasts its initial scientific purpose, which was to categorize, maintain and keep order of taxonomies. Making use of LIDAR 3D-scanning1 and augmented reality (AR), the project investigates how digital technology can reorient our perception of time and space, and how we can create and communicate images of past, present, and future biodiversity2. Although embedding extraordinary precision and range, the 3D scan’s ephemeral point cloud does not resemble the world as we know or see it. Are we then able to evoke new natures? Can the scanner be used to document and record plants, trees, and landscapes? Maybe even time? And how are these types of images related to the more traditional of the architect’s media, such as the drawing, the map, the photograph, and the model? Through Design Driven Research, the project raises these and related questions, exploring ambiguous and complex relationships regarding landscapes within an Anthropocene discourse3.

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1 The 3D scanner, usually used for documentation and registration of buildings, and objects, is employed with an artistic approach asserting that the development of new forms of representation transform the thinking, design, and realization of architecture.

2 The loss of biodiversity, a pressing issue in the new climate regime, prompts related concepts like digital preservation, re-animation, and re-wilding. As with built environments, there are complex questions of how to preserve and protect landscapes.

3 The conceptual framework has come into consideration following several related concepts like artificiality, assemblage, interspace, diagrams, and topology. Notions of ‘the monstrous’ is of particular interest, a concept drawn from Marcel Proust, through Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway and Timothy Morton.

Keywords: Architectural Representation, Landscapes, LIDAR, Augmented Reality, Artificial Nature(s)