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Point cloud project

Our goal was to explore point cloud as a design tool and a universal system where all types of models can unify. Downgrading and simplifying everything into a single point could open up more opportunities for us to imagine more complex landscapes. Formats like mesh and Nurbs overcomplicate the process to us and as a result, restrict the level of complexity we can achieve when modeling. So the answer may not be making the workflow more complex but rather reducing it to a point cloud and use it as a universal unit. The potential of the point cloud also lies in that the difference between all the models that are crafted, scanned, or AI-generated can become indistinguishable. In the beginning of the semester, we picked and documented the abandoned Hawthorne Mall as our site of choice. Using Leica Lidar scanner, we were able to capture a point cloud 3D scan of the entire building which gave us a lot of room to work with.


In the process of using point cloud as a design tool, we utilized and incorporated multiple different formats and ways of modeling, such as: crafted mesh objects, 3D scans, AI-generated models and so on. All of the models would then undergo a process where we simplified them into point cloud data and populate the point cloud data scan of the mall. It resulted in something that we found very interesting and novel - a playground made of tiny dots that seemed to blend everything so well and blur the edges of objects to an extent that made everything read as a single unified landscape rather than distinguished formats, models and styles. We imagine that in the future perhaps a software package will exist that could use point cloud as it’s base model unit to make the interoperability of different formats way easier than current software packages do

5th year Vertical Studio

Fall 2023

Partner - Jimmy Xu

Instructor - David Ruy

Teacher Assistant - Hans Steffes

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