Design and Exploration of Braiding Swarms in VR

Daniel Wagner, Christian Hofmann, Heiko Hamann, Sebastian von Mammen


Swarm-based braiding of structures represents a novel research direction in the domain of building architecture. The idea is that autonomous agents, for instance robots that unroll threads or plants that grow, are programmed or influenced to braid. It is an aspect of biohybrid systems where organisms and robots join forces. In order to harness this idea, we have developed a swarm-based model that allows architects to explore the resulting design spaces in virtual reality. In this paper, we present (1) the model of our swarm-based simulation that aims at growing braided structures, (2) the design elements to guide the otherwise self-organising virtual agents, and (3) the user interface that allows the user to configure, place and grow the swarms of braiding agents. We also present results of a first user study with students and faculty from architecture, in which we tried to capture the usability of our first prototype based on a survey and an analysis of the built results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Publication date08.11.2017
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5548-3
Publication statusPublished - 08.11.2017
Event23rd ACM Conference on Virtual Reality Software and Technology - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 08.11.201710.11.2017


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