Infinity Stone


aka The Desert Diamond

A spectral construct unearthed by the shifting sands of the Black Rock Desert, the Infinity stone is left. An Architectural Cipher it lays on its side, open and yawning towards the sun.

The structure symbolizes both the illusion of material wealth and its realization – The diamond, is hollow, and mirrored. It forces us to instead of gazing at the stone, to enter it, to look past it, into ourselves and onto the horizon.


The Desert Diamond is a structure based on the morphed and architecturally interpreted geometry of the brilliant cut diamond.

A series of triangulated panels, the principal structure is composed of multiple bent acrylic panels, with mirror tint rolled across the surfaces. Then it is fixed together with cable ties to build flexible joints. A base of wooden ply is placed on the floor to fix the structure, and provide a solid base.

The mirror tint is inverted, so outside the structure one can see inside, and inside is an infinity of reflections, of people, each other – and the desert. Light will reflect and bounce, a multivlance of colour and fire will sparkle and burn into the memories of those who experience the Infinity Stone.

Augmented Reality Trials

Bellow are three video’s of separate augmented reality tests I made as steps towards my final project, the Augmented Reality Temple – or my ‘House of Voidals’ utilizing my jailbroken Nexus 4 and the smartphone Aurasma app. The aims were to project larger object which would convey an immersion into a digital architectural space, moving from projecting elements from panels on a wall, to attempting to show a room and a corridor. The results are rough, but do suggest how smart devices could be used, in the near future when the hardware capability of the devices has improved  to project architectures into a world where the synthesis between man and machine is inevitable.
The Music Used in the Video’s is from Luke Abbot’s Holkham Drones and Modern Highway EP’s

Sequence 01 2 7 from Mark Simpson on Vimeo.

Sequence 01 2 8 from Mark Simpson on Vimeo.

Sequence 01 2 9 from Mark Simpson on Vimeo.

Augmented Reality Trials

So I have been trying out a variety of software’s via my smartphone to enable the projection of architecture related 3d models onto surfaces which the user can orient and move around. The three strongest were;

AndAR   Augment   Aurasma

AndAr had the most consistant viewport, but could view only very low poly models

Augment could view more complex models, but was prone to crashing and cut parts of the model out

Aurasma I found to be the most successful. I joined as a developer, and after working through a lot of new software’s was able to create material maps, lighting and orientation (in Maya) to a level of control that the other apps do not have.

So if you want a go, download Aurasma on your smart device, search for University of Westminster’s channel, point the viewfinder at the playing card picture in the gallery and you can have a look at my model yourself!

I own the University of Westminster’s developer account it seems, so if anyone is interested in having a go then feel free to ask.

Smart devices

Smart devices are becoming an integral part of the way we use technologies. They are changing and reshaping the world, on economic, social and political levels.

Attached are two fascinating developments, the first is a report by the accounting firm Ernst & Young on the rise of  ‘Rapid Technology’ and its effect on driving transformation most importantly in Africa and India, and allowing for progress to made that by-passes many of the socio political factors which may of hindered it in the past, such as political corruption, economic sanctions, cultural restraints and most importantly economic restraints of actually buying the stuff. Technology is becoming cheaper than ever.

Six global trends shaping the business world – Rapid technology innovation creates a smart, mobile world – Ernst & Young – Global

The second is about Google Glass and how it could relate to architecture. I’m sure you have all seen it, buts its importance cant be understated. As one of the big players in the technology market the format of Google glass would allow the transmission of Architecture in a new and unprecedented way. Its still quite clumsy at the minute (my view), but what the developers are working on, and what they hint on in this video (that intuitive technology which is more closely linked to the person would make it less of a distraction) is a radical approach to the development of tech.

Its coming, end of 2013, we could all be wearing them this time next year. We live in exciting times!

Glass Architecture

The Crystal Path

09The Crystal Path is a structure based on the Hexactinellid underwater sea sponge, its aim is to take a structure inspired by deep sea creatures and to put it into its opposite environment, the desert.

The Sponge is a glass sponge, and is built of Silica. Silica strands mesh together to form optical fiber’s which transmit light, grabbing loose photons at the base of the ocean. This forms the basis for my proposal.

Utilizing LDR sensors and LED eyeball lights fixed to light rods attached through the structure ambient light, from sunlight to flashlights and fire will trigger sensors. These will switch the lights on and off in call and response type patterns. This will create an otherworldly ethereal structure which has a unique interaction with the light which surrounds it.

Its intention is to be shaped like a pathway, users will contemplate the nature of light and freedom, as the open structure will allow bikes and small mutant vehicles to travel underneath.




Interactive sea sponge components // Mark Simpson

For my burning man proposal I have developed a method to array components, based on the three sided spicule which react to light to form an interactive light based structure

DSC_0006  DSC_0016 (2)DSC_0025 copy DSC_0021

These components have been developed, enlarged and arrayed to form an undulating structure with a complex array of pipework to hold the ldr sensors and connections. I am currently diagramming their hierarchy  connections and array formation.