This is a brief summary of Primate, the plugin that I created to integrate Leap Motion with parametric design in Grasshopper.
For me there are 3) big break-throughs that Leap enables. 1) bringing to digital processes an intuitive access to 3 dimensions. That is very different than a mouse that moves around on a fixed plane. 2) ability to model interaction from design through use 3) the specificity of understanding hands, which are arguably one of the most defining things about us as a species.
Related to this 3rd point, I want to take a moment to mention the etymology of the word digital.
Digital, itself, comes from fingers. The word digital emerges in the English language in the 1650s, meaning "pertaining to fingers," from the Latin digitalis, from digitus (see digit). So, when we are designing with our hands in the computer we are thinking digitally in both the 17th century sense of the word and the 21st century sense.
That said, here are the basics on Primate, the plug-in that I created to integrate Leap Motion into parameter-based design. Primate works with Grasshopper (the graphical algorithm editor that generates openNURBS geometry through Rhino). Primate uses original C# components to create communication between the Leap device and the full suite of 3D parameters available in Grasshopper. What follows is a demo video.
This video shows a simple grid demo. I will be adding more videos on specific design problems that I am working on with Primate. Those videos will be more technical, working with vector field charges and data recorders that build point clouds from pointing fingers or other hand data. More info at http://mcewenstudio.com/web/research/primate-geometry/
This blog started with research, theory topics, travel and architecture discoveries during my fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. It continues, somewhat awkwardly and sporadically, with my relocation to Detroit as an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan. The blog spans architecture, urban design, planning, and tangents from these.