Ping Pong

BArch 2 Studio: Analogue Digital Production

Wolfgang Tschapeller | Werner Skvara

Ping Pong is the name of a process which bounces between analogue and digital world. Ping, for example, is a workshop (an intense working session) within the worldof analogue tools. Pong, then is the rebounding of Ping into the digital realm. 

Ping Pong is not giving a topic. Ping Pong is rather suggesting a process (a dialogue) in which analogue and digital methods are alternatively used to explore, construct and describe properties of space, material, programme and environment.

Workshop 1 is definitely a digital workshop. It will happen at the AKH, the Alterlaa, the ORF and the WU sites and will focus on fotografy as a virtual, 3-dimensional illusion. 2 methods will be researched. One, the so called photosynth or “how to stitch the world” will research the potential of assembling fotografies of multible authors to one collective 3-D image. The other takes images in a strict sequence by rotating the camera on a tripod in a way that the interior of a sphere is described.

Workshop 2 will be on analogue issues, on pieces of material, a piece of clay for example, or a piece of wood of a certain dimension and a certain weight. We start to suggest on the surface of a piece of clay, of wood, or other selected material an interior which is not fully known, not fully exposed, only characterized by what we can see on the surface.

In workshop 3 then - digital again - we repeat the operations of workshop 2. A piece of clay, a piece of wood is modeled again, not with fingers, not with a radial saw, but with 3D modeling software – and – within thoes pieces of virtual material we continue to construct and to develope spaces suggested in the physical clay model. It will be a digital, 3-dimensional construction of an interior space with detailed geometries.

The next workshop puts us back to the analogue world. The virtual interiors of workshop 3 are now physically constructed with the help of thin translucent paper, in large scales, detailed volumes are constructed within larger semi-transparent volumes. The dimension of those models will make us research the structural potential of paper, how to make paper rigid, how to connect different pieces of paper, how to enhance transparency or how to obscure vision.

Back then in the digital we enter a workshop on material properties, on studies of different degrees of transperencies and translucencies and how to depict them in the digital world. In this session we also explore new grounds within our initially given volume. We add new spaces according to a given space allocation plan and we ad inhabitants. The interaction of spaces, their functions and their inhabitants is studied.

Ping Pong is a sequence of workshops, which practice the dialogue between the analogue and the digital. Every digital move has an analogue echo. The first sets of “Pings” and “Pongs” are laid out by the teachers. Gradually students develop their independent and subjective way of bouncing between the Ping and the Pong.