Bridging tangible and virtual realities : Computational procedures for data-informed participatory processes

Mariusz Hermansdorfer, Hans Skov-Petersen, Pia Fricker, Kane Borg, Philip Belesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Downloads (Pure)


Driven by technological advances, growing amounts of available data, and an emergent need for participatory processes, landscape architecture is witnessing a moment of disruption whereby formerly separated areas of operation become increasingly connected. While distinctions between various aspects of the design process are diminishing, a need for a novel, more inclusive toolset arises. The ‘tangible table’ paradigm is an attempt at combining intuitive ways of physical modelling with data-driven design strategies and the interactive simulation of naturally occurring phenomena. Despite its existence for more than 20 years, tangible tables have mainly focused on very specific workflows and therefore have not found wider adoption in landscape architectural practice or education. We list the limitations of previous implementations and introduce a novel software solution aimed at popularizing tangible table setups. Our software is embedded in a widespread visual programming environment, which allows for straightforward augmentation of physical models with computational design tech-niques. Using a week-long PhD course as a case study, we demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed software and its potential applications to solving various landscape architectural challenges through increased emphasis on participatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Digital Landscape Architecture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Computational design
  • Grasshopper
  • Participatory design
  • SandWorm
  • Tangible table

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bridging tangible and virtual realities : Computational procedures for data-informed participatory processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this