Proposing VR classes for Architecture Students

VR Course Proposal

I’ve spent a few days composing a proposal for a VR-for-architects class at NYIT. I just sent the proposal to the Associate Dean, and I don’t know what part I’m more excited about. The course textbook is Robin Evan’s wonderful project, The Projective Cast. Just talking about those chapters for 16 weeks is interesting enought. But the course only needs a few thousand dollars of equipment to run – that makes me hopeful that we really have a chance to do something unique at our institute.

Here’ the big parts. There isn’t a sentence in the sample that doesn’t sound so cool that I would want to take the course myself!

Course Description

This course offers a framework for understanding and using immersive technologies in design processes for Architects. The course will offer a history of perspective-based design precedents, a survey of current immersive technologies for architects, and coursework that requires application of these lessons.

Completion of ARCH 340, or other 3D modeling experience, is strongly recommended.

Course Objectives

Architects, engineers, and designers spend most of their design time illustrating their ideas with 3D modeling tools that prioritize evaluating a solution as an object. Hitherto, these object-favored designs are still confined to the computer screen. This has always been a design problem; 2D screens are terrible at communicating how a space actually feels. The premise of the class focues on that issue: that drawings represent designs, but VR can help simulate how they will affect the user.

This course uses virtual reality to address this problem. The coursework demonstrate techniques to make immersive, true-to-scale VR walkthroughs computer. Instruction will focus on design techniques unique to immersive technologies — including real-time model-editing, VR design evaluation, and VR model comparison.

The course will present an abbreviated 400-year history of projective technologies in architecture. Special focus will be concentrated on metrical geometries (used to measure ”true” aspects of space), projective geometries (used to measure perceived aspects of space), and symbolic geometries (used to craft objects of charged form). Case studies will analyze how all three geometries were deployed in contemporary architectural design solutions.

Textbooks / Learning Resources      (* Denotes a Required Textbook)

  • * The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries, by Robin Evans. ISBN: 978-0262550383

  • Virtual Reality: Applications and Explorations edited by Alan Wexelblat. ISBN: 9781568987477

  • Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality edited by Frank Biocca, Mark R. Levy ISBN: 9780471456360.