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id ddss9486
authors Smeltzer, Geert
year 1994
title The Application of Virtual Reality Systems in Architectural Design Processes
source Second Design and Decision Support Systems in Architecture & Urban Planning (Vaals, the Netherlands), August 15-19, 1994
summary This paper describes the application of virtual reality systems in architectural design processes. It is based upon research on virtual reality technology to develop a more natural interface between men and design systems. It is also based upon the development of an integrated laboratory set-up for an immersive and a desk-top virtual reality system. This set-up should offer possibilities to manipulate 3D design models and to simulate the lighting situation in real time. Finally it is based upon an application of virtual reality technology for a design presentation. The research problem was determined by the question in which way the design process changes under the influence of technology. Other research questions, autonomous as possible, were how natural an interface can be using sensors, how a design model can be using real world features and how a representation can be as realistic as possible, using lighting simulations. The development problem was determined by the fact that the laboratory set-up had to be developed in co-operation with a hardware and a software vendor. This led to the development of two set-ups: one immersive virtual reality system and one desk top system. Another problem for the development of the set-up was that the project had to result in the presentation and demonstration of virtual reality technol-ogy that was not yet generally available to a larger group of organisations or enterprises. The first case study involved the development of a virtual reality presentation of a housing project in the Netherlands. The presentation was meant for people who were interested in the houses and was announced as a virtual open house. A potential buyer could walk through the model and move furniture around. The problem addressed concerned the relationship between the level of detail of the model, the speed of representation and the ease of interface system's. The second case study concerned the use of a virtual reality interface, model and representation for the evaluation of visibility and safety aspects of another housing project. At first this application was meant for the designers and their client. Based upon their evaluation of the design, several design improvements were made. Afterwards, this application was used for internal demonstrations. The application for the evaluation and the demonstrations were developed for an immersive virtual reality system and for a desk top system. The problem addressed was first of all a design problem and secondly a technical problem. This technical problem was related to the difference between the two virtual reality systems in terms of consequences for those applications. In the near future the research project, called the Asterisk project, will also examine and develop the possibilities of the simultaneous use of the system by more than one user, possibly on different locations. This means a development from single user single site to a multi user, a multiple site virtual reality systems. This project will also evaluate the feasibility of the application of virtual reality technology during an architectural design process. This research project will be followed by the development of a prototype of a virtual architecture system demonstrations of this system and an introduction to the market.
series DDSS
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