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Ph2D: Digital Twin Prototyping Tool for Architectural Design 


The researchers developed and tested a hybrid physical/digital toolset for architectural prototyping, named “Ph2D,” which allows adjustments in a physical floorplan model to be mirrored and analyzed in a digital platform. The toolset uses a modular approach based on interconnectable tiles (e.g., “wall section with exterior door”). Additional tile pieces beyond the base toolset can be 3D-printed and/or digitally defined by users, allowing for a large degree of customization. The “digital twin” approach combines the utility of hand-on experimentation with automatic digital representation, and it enables analytical tools such as connectivity analysis and energy performance simulation to be conducted simultaneously with the physical design ideation. User-testing (n = 182) indicated significant enthusiasm for the toolset's usability, and showed an association between exposure to the toolset and higher regard for physical prototyping in design. Non-designers expressed a strong interest in experimenting with the tool, indicating potentially effective roles in design education and team-communication.

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Research Team:

Saleh Kalantari, Sina Pourjabar, Bill Xu, Julia Kan

Year: 2019-2022

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