Physical and Digital space superimposed


Dezeen and MINI Frontiers are collaborating on exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.

ScanLAB worked with architect Pernilla Ohrstedt to create the backdrop for the Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition by scanning the venue and superimposing that digital data back onto the physical space via hundreds of thousands of white vinyl dots.

ScanLAB specialises in producing extremely high-resolution 3D scans of the built environment.

Ohrstedt‘s design aims to demonstrate the digital model of the world that will be generated by driverless cars in the near future as they navigate using 3D-scanning technology.


“The concept is to create a physical experience of the digital ‘point clouds’ that our cars will capture as they drive through the streets,” she explains.

Collaborating with 3D-scanning company ScanLAB Projects, Ohrstedt scanned the space atdesignjunction and superimposed that digital information back onto the building by applying over 150,000 white vinyl dots.

Each dot represents a point in space recorded by a 3D laser scanner, but Ohrstedt reduced the resolution to make it representative of the level of detail the first driverless cars will capture.

“The resolution of the point cloud we are adhering to this space is the resolution at which car scanners will scan the world,” she explains. “It’s not the most high resolution that is currently available; we can scan at much higher resolutions today. But this is the first resolution that will be captured en masse.”


A 3D model of the full-resolution scan captured by the surveying scanner Ohrstedt and ScanLAB Projects used to create the installation is also on show at the exhibition.

“What I’m hoping to achieve is for people to understand the way that our world is starting to be captured in digital form,” Ohrstedt says. “These dots in this space represent the first resolution that the world will be rendered in, but eventually, as the technology evolves, we will have a perfect 1:1 replica of the world.”


The city of the future “will be both physical and digital”

cities in the future will exist in both a physical and digital form says William Trossell of 3D-scanning company ScanLAB, who claims the lines between the two “will become increasingly blurred” 

“Uses of augmented reality will allow us to walk around the physical city whilst also visiting the digital,” Trossell says.

“We really believe that the city of the future will be both physical and digital and the lines between those will become increasingly blurred.”


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