“Here, the term landscape no longer refers to prospects of pastoral innocence but rather invokes the functioning matrix of connective tissue that organizes not only objects and spaces but also the dynamic processes and events that move through them. This is landscape as active surface, structuring the conditions for new relationships and interactions among the things it supports . . . As such, the urban surface is dynamic and responsive; like a catalytic emulsion, the surface literally unfolds events in time.”

— Alex Wall, “Programming the Urban Surface,” 1999

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The work of at-LAS falls under design-research—we study and integrate information from a diverse array of sources and apply this knowledge to shape interventions, products, and solutions for our living, working, and learning environments. As a team, we are process-oriented, divergent thinkers and experimental problem-solvers. Using design methods, we are well-equipped to address large, complex problems that aren’t necessarily well-defined or easily measured. Five specific themes articulate the Laboratory’s current commitments:

augmented reality (AR) + virtual reality (VR)

Simulating the intangibles of living environmental conditions through immersive virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.
Key words: virtual reality, augmented reality, virtual environments, immersive technologies, interactive technologies.

critical mapping

Employing geographic spatial data to inform the ways in which we see, record, understand, and communicate urban ecological conditions and phenomena at multiple scales—focusing on the territorial systems that impact urban performance.
Key words: cartography, data visualization, laser scanning, LIDAR, UAVs, photogrammetry, visual communication.

digital fabrication

Deploying automated manufacturing technologies to prototype new material systems, novel fabrication methods and assembly techniques.
Key words: bits to atoms, advanced manufacturing, rapid prototyping, automated/CNC tools.

parametric + algorithmic design

Using technologies that augment human design intelligence with computational processing as a means to synthesize, inform and optimize the analytical design process.
Key words: parametric design, design scripting, algorithmic design, procedural design systems.

situated technologies

Embedding computing technologies into our built environments that can sense and collect data, compute and process information, and actuate or change our environment in response.
Key words: physical computing, responsive systems, robotics, arduino, the “Internet of Things” (IoT).