Jul 30–Aug 29, 2021

2021: A Steam Odyssey

Soomeen Hahm’s AR-Focused Exhibition
960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90013 Map
Mon–Sun 10 am–6 pm

2021: A Steam Odyssey is conceptualized around the notion that making in AR reinvigorates traditional craftsmanship by augmenting hand and material skills with the precision and formal possibilities of digital modeling—occupying the territory between purely automated, exclusively robotically-driven fabrication and highly crafted processes requiring human labor.

The centerpiece of the exhibition, designed in collaboration with Igor Pantic, is a structure built out of steam-bent hardwood using primitive hand tools augmented with the precision of intelligent holographic guides. It explores alternative strategies for the fabrication of digitally designed architectural structures, utilizing cutting-edgem, head-mounted devices (HMDs) to holographically assist workers in the manufacturing and assembly of highly varied components using traditional craft techniques.

The exhibition piece itself, which is a full-scale section of a larger inhabitable space, represents a next step in the evolution of the SoomeenHamh Design’s ongoing research into complex timber structures, assembled with the assistance of AR. It builds on the methodology developed for the 2019 Tallinn Biennale Steampunk Pavilion (designed by Hahm, Pantic, Gwyllim Jahn, and Cameron Newnham), further expanding it in the realm of fully functional space.

“It is crucial to understand that augmented reality-assisted fabrication is not seen as an alternative to automation and robotics, but rather aims to expand the understanding of automated production,” explains Hahm. “We are interested in exploring the interaction between human, machine, and data, and their mutual relationships throughout computational design and fabrication processes—2021: A Steam Odyssey builds on this idea.”