Virtual Kibbuz

A project by Patrick Kruse
University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf
with Prof. Anja Vormann

Understanding the culture of the kibbutz through objects. The idea of the kibbutz is to become clear through a network in physical space with virtual objects as nodes that link stories together.

»The value of the kibbutz landscape is equal to all of its buildings; it is an organic part of the overall planning. The garden expresses the society that created it; not a »display garden« and not a public park or cultivated landscape at the edge of the city, this is a garden in which people live, work and rest, this is an all-day garden, and I think this is the best way to define it.« (Bickels 1976)

A virtual kibbutz was created based on Samuel Bickel’s research and planning of social landscapes and spaces. The architect called the kibbutz an »all-day garden« that provides the framework for collective life. According to Bickels, the design of kibbutzim is a visual and spatial language that shapes a landscape as a social space.

Each object has the same relevance and importance in the overall structure. The individual capture of a specific object in the scanning process, does not show just any object, but an explicit one. It represents a place, a person or a situation in the real kibbutz. The focus is on daily life and work in the kibbutz.

For this project, short interviews were conducted with residents of the Mashabei Sade Kibbutz, in which they report on their personal favourite places and those that play a special role for the community in the kibbutz. The results are communal overlays of places and individual excursions from everyday life. The objects, scanned with L.I.D.A.R technology, were arranged into a new tridimensional digital landscape and linked to the personal stories of the residents. Personal objects that stand for a position in the kibbutz are collected collectively and reconnected in physical space. The result is a virtual landscape that explains itself through digital experience.

The arrangement of the digital objects in the physical space creates a mixed reality environment, which not only displays the society, but is created by it.

Thus, based on Samuel Bickel’s idea, an »everyday garden« of digital objects was created. It is a mixed reality installation where stories, images and documents can be experienced via AR.

A room installation is to be created in which stories, images and documents about AR can be experienced.

A sample video from the last project, AR Installation

Technical realisation

Phase 1: The collection
A standardised manual for the digitisation of objects is to enable a collective collection of photogrammetric objects. A manual designed for normal citizens should offer the possibility of imaging objects three-dimensionally with simple devices (tablet, DSLR, smartphone). An object-oriented interview complements the images with personal content and is conducted prior to the object selection.

Possible workflow:
Interview -> Photographs by residents -> Upload to a shared online storage -> Processing into 3D objects.

Phase 2: The evaluation
The collected objects are discussed in an open format. Collectively, a selection of objects will be made.

Phase 3: The network 
The collected scans can be accessed via AR App in the physical space. Markers on the floor determine the position of the individual objects. All the objects form a thought memory that enlightens about life in the kibbutz and its values.