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Challenging design perceptions in immersive virtual reality environments?

Maftei, L. and Harty, C. (2016) Challenging design perceptions in immersive virtual reality environments? In: 32nd Annual ARCOM (Association of Researchers in Construction Management) Conference, 5-7 September 2016, Manchester.

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The potential and use of immersive virtual reality (IVR) technologies in performing design and construction activities has been widely addressed in the literature. However, research is only just beginning to emerge which examines the role of these technologies in use in ‘real-life’ practice situations, and seldom if ever addresses the way surprise and novelty impact both experience of these technologies, and of the designs they are representing. Adopting a practice based perspective to understanding the effect of immersive technologies on construction design work as used in concrete ‘real -life’ settings and as perceived by the practitioners involved, this study draws a specific focus on the concept of ‘surprise’ around using these technologies. The empirical case examined is a ‘real-life’ construction design project for a new hospital in the UK wherein a CAVE environment was used performing design review sessions during the bid preparation stage. The methodology draws on accessing participants’ view on their surprise emerging in the CAVE through reflective conversations oriented to engage the participants in retrospective reflection on their CAVE design experience. The analysis reveals that the element of surprise encountered by the participants both within making sense of the newly experienced technology, and within orienting to the design in the immersive environment played an important role in performing design review in the CAVE. The findings indicate that using CAVE as design media is not only enhancing or adding to an existing understanding of design through paper based or non-immersive digital representations, but it is also, and perhaps most significantly, challenging the participants’ understanding of the design as they experience the immersive, full scale version of it.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:67900
Uncontrolled Keywords:CAVE, immersive virtual reality (IVR), design practice, surprise
Additional Information:First published by ARCOM as part of the Conference Proceedings ISBN: 9780995546301


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