The Tabletop ArchMachine

An interactive table as an innovative architectural design tool


AUTHOR: Ahmed Medane
PLACE: ÉNSA Versailles
YEAR: 2023
INSTAGRAM: @ahmed_medane


“The Tabletop Architecture Machine” offers an innovative way to explore new possibilities of designing architecture.

This interactive table allows the design of spaces by uniting the physical and virtual dimension, allowing users to manipulate models on the table and visualize the results in a virtual environment created by computer software. The virtual environment and the assembly of the models are in perfect synchronization, offering a reaction to the action of manipulating.

This device encourages the user to be active in the creation of their own space, reinforces interaction and can become a powerful tool to explore, design, discuss and imagine new ideas in architecture. Design becomes more playful, accessible, and collaborative.  


The crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the limits of our domestic spaces and pushed us to think about how to design spaces more adapted to our current way of life. That is why this project proposes new ways of designing architecture, allowing users to design their own space.
“To achieve this goal, I propose the creation of an interactive table as an innovative architectural design tool. The table combines a tangible physical dimension with virtual design, giving users the freedom to express themselves creatively.”

The interactive table plays a key role as a tangible tool that helps to understand architectural principles. The computer program allows the user to immerse himself in the space created by the model through the graphic medium of the video game. The model and the game environment become synchronized, offering an action and its reaction. The space changes by manipulating a study model.

The device offers a different approach to designing architecture, encouraging the user to be active in creating his own space. It also offers an immediate response to their choices, reinforcing the interaction between the user and the design. In short, this interactive table becomes a powerful tool for exploring, playing, designing, discussing, and imagining new ideas in architecture.

“As an architect, I am focused on exploring new approaches to architectural design using tangible technologies for accessible and playful design. My goal is to promote an educational design process that raises awareness of spatiality and facilitates collaboration between stakeholders. I used open-source computer technologies and reclaimed materials to create a device that can be used for BIM design, teaching children, and architectural visualization.”

While this device is not yet perfect, it can be improved to allow for better composition in three dimensions and portability.


Ahmed Medane is an architect and studied at the National School of Versailles. His different passions, such as photography and video games, influence his work. Coming from underprivileged neighbourhoods, Ahmed believes that multidisciplinarity is an important element in architectural design and that this design process must be done in the sharing of cultures and knowledge. His work and way of thinking are inspired by architectural theorists such as Yona Friedman, Nicholas Negroponte.


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