Innovative tech, pioneered by ScanLAB combining videography, 3D laser scanning and 3D imaging, is both informative and eerie in an interesting sort of way. Sort of like Sin City on steroids if you ask me.
MATTHEW SHAW AND William Trossell document the world with lasers.
When the duo founded ScanLab Projects in 2011, they were a pair of freshly minted architecture school graduates who’d gotten their hands on an extraordinarily expensive commercial-grade laser scanner. Today, their London-based studio is at the forefront of large-scale 3-D laser scanning, specializing in striking, ghostly reproductions of castles, museums, ice floes and more, conjured from billions of millimeter-precise dots.
ScanLab’s latest undertaking is a sprawling scan of Mail Rail, a network of abandoned tunnels once used to transport mail beneath London. Like much of the group’s work, it sits at the intersection of utility and beauty, commerce and art. On one level, it’s an unprecedentedly detailed document of a historically significant site—a laudable bit of high-tech preservation. On another, it’s a work of art in an arresting new medium, a strange offspring of photography and computer-generated imagery. Depending on your perspective, it’s either the past seen through the lens of the future, or the future seen through the lens of the past.