Use of virtual environments in interior design education: a case study with VRML
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Communicating spatial thought and visual perception is not an easy process. However, introducing virtual worlds into communication and visual perception of complex concepts and information make the process easier. The observer using Virtual Reality (VR) applications navigates within an information environment that increases data awareness and understanding with the help of specific effects such as immersion, presence and interactivity (Dagit, 1993). These capabilities of Virtual Environments (VE) can easily be used for the design education, as well as the designer together with the clients uses them during the design phase. In this way, the students would have the flexibility in the education life since there will be no restriction and limitation in the time and place for following the lectures. Within this context, this thesis investigates the benefits of VE in interior design education using web-based communication. When preparing this application Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) has been used as a tool which is a language for describing multi-participant interactive simulations, in other words, VE, networked through the Internet. In the study, the logic of how VRML works has been explained including various examples. The design process and navigation in VRML world is experienced. Additionally, virtual libraries for texture, material and furniture are prepared. The research has been concluded with the construction of a sample extension course design for the senior Interior Architecture course: Modular Interior Systems, using VRML.
KeywordsWeb-based architectural education
Interior Design Education
Collaborative Design Environments
Virtual Reality Modelling Language