the multidisciplinary architecture studio jakob + macfarlane have long defined their distinctive style through the exploration of digital technology as both a conceptual tool and a means of production. now, at the aedes architecture forum in berlin, the duo of dominique jakob and brendan macfarlane have turned to augmented reality to communicate the concepts behind their designs to the public with their explanatorily named ‘augmenting the invisible’ exhibition. in a search to show the design process in which eight of their most famous projects were conceived—including the orange cube in lyon, the docks of paris, and the restaurant georges at center pompidou, paris. 

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the aedes berlin exhibition sits on the brink of the digital and the physical, using digital drawings to explain the processes behind physical buildings. the augmented reality process idea works by requiring viewers of the exhibition to download the jakob + macfarlane app, which reads large scale drawings, transfering them into colored illustrations that represent an abstract ‘blueprint’ of each building. positioned next to large photographs of each work, the viewer has the opportunity to compare each physical building with the digital version of its concept, helping them to better understand the thought process that went into each construction.

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in what the duo describe as an ‘intersection of a prospective vision and an experienced vision’ jakob + macfarlane use augmented reality to communicate the ideas and influences that went into their creations, to non-architects. the augmented reality projects aim to portray a sense of the context in which each work was created—its gridlines, topologies and physical steams—and transfer it into a digital form that could be easily interpreted by the public. through the design process, a meaning, sense, and resonance is given to each work, and jakob + macfarlane set out to portray this to observers. 

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the innovative exposition represents an invitation to a permanent conversation about the relationship between the digital and the physical, and their potential amalgamation.

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