Virtual reality/space visualization in design education: The vr-desktop initiative

Loukas N. Kalisperis, George Otto, Katsu Muramoto, Jack S. Gundrum, Raymon Masters, Brian Orland

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Although virtual reality (VR) is a fast-growing field, utilization of its potential within an affordable environment in the early years of architectural education has been limited. Currently, we are in the process of exploring the educational potential of virtual reality in the creation and understanding of space as a set of dynamic volumes that can be experienced. The VR-Desktop initiative is an effort to bring the salient features of projection-based VR to second-year architecture students in a way that is more generally accessible than the many canonical, first-generation, projection-based VR systems. The VR-Desktop has been implemented in the teaching of the architectural design studio in the second year of a five-year curriculum, as part of the physical architectural studio. Through the VR-Desktop system in the studio, students immediately start working in an immersive environment. They create space by manipulating solids and voids while evaluating the anthropometric relations of the proposed solution. The students are able to study and test conceptual details in a virtual environment from the very beginning of their architectural design project. In order to assess student perception of the usefulness of various system attributes for diverse tasks, we have begun a usability study. Thirty-five surveys were collected from the students who had used the lab during the two semesters for which the two-screen system was available. Preliminary observations indicate that within the architectural context, virtual reality techniques involving depth perception can convey relevant information to students more efficiently and with less misrepresentation than traditional techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe
StatePublished - 2002
Event20th Conference on Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, eCAADe 2002 - Warszawa, Poland
Duration: Sep 17 2002Sep 21 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Architecture
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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