An interactive space browser for architectural designs. Moving its lightweight LCD panel on a building's plan drawing displays a 3D interior view of the building.

Enhanced Life
Deskrama deploys a high-resolution position sensor to find the position of a lightweight LCD panel placed on a plan drawing of a building. It uses radiosity-based photorealistic visualization technology to interactively display on the LCD panel a three-dimensional interior view of the building model as if it were placed on the plan and sectioned at the position where the LCD panel touches the drawing.

To help a viewer understand architectural designs by spatially co-relating two projections: a two dimensional abstraction in a plan drawing and a photo-realistic interior perspective viewed from an arbitarily cut plane, each of which has a unique role in representation of architectural design.

Deskrama achieves an exact spatial synchronization of the architectural plan and a three-dimensional interior view of the corresponding virtual model above it. The view's angle is interactively adjusted to that of a viewer moving the panel, and a photorealistic perspective view is generated from a pre-computed radiosity solution file. Also, altering the plan drawing with an infrared tag changes the display to a model of a corresponding building.

Deskrama has the potential to change the way we examine a three-dimensional virtual model of an object that has an important interior space. Unlike goggle-based interactive virtual-reality hardware, there is no burden on the viewer's eyes, and many people can share the same image. Cutting a section of an object with an LCD display that shows the inside of the object through that section is highly intuitive and requires no explanation.

The initial motivation for Deskrama was architectural modeling, but its possible future applications include: medical examination of the human body, visualization of underground geological formations, and automobile design. Future development will synchornize a larger number of different projections and allow the LCD display to be placed at any three-dimensional angle away from the plan on the table.

Takehiko Nagakura
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
takehiko (at)

Jun Oishi
Takenaka Research and Development Institute