Bridging tangible and virtual realities: computational procedures for data-informed participatory processes

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Driven by technological advances, growing amounts of available data, and an emergent need for participatory processes, landscape architecture is witnessing a moment of disruption whereby formerly separated areas of operation become increasingly connected. While distinctions between various aspects of the design process are diminishing, a need for a novel, more inclusive toolset arises. The ‘tangible table’ paradigm is an attempt at combining intuitive ways of physical modelling with datadriven design strategies and the interactive simulation of naturally occurring phenomena. Despite its existence for more than 20 years, tangible tables have mainly focused on very specific workflows and therefore have not found wider adoption in landscape architectural practice or education. We list the limitations of previous implementations and introduce a novel oftware solution aimed at popularizing tangible table setups. Our software is embedded in a widespread visual programming environment, which allows for straightforward augmentation of physical models with computational design techniques. Using a week-long PhD course as a case study, we demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed software and its potential applications to solving various landscape architectural challenges through increased emphasis on participatory processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Digital Landscape Architecture
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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