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Designers' perspectives on the use of immersive virtual reality technology in practice

Maftei, L. and Harty, C. (2014) Designers' perspectives on the use of immersive virtual reality technology in practice. In: 30th Annual ARCOM Conference, 1-3 Sept 2014, Portsmouth, U.K., pp. 175-184.

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The role of emerging virtual reality (VR)/ BIM enabled technologies on the construction design process is examined in this paper from an angle of understanding the contextual use of technology in practice. Drawing attention to the dynamics of interrelating the social, perceptual and material/ technical mechanisms involved, the study takes an interest in issues of understanding and reflecting on the effect of immersive technologies on construction design activities as used in concrete ‘real –life’ settings and as perceived by practitioners. The case study is an on-going construction project for a new hospital in the UK, where an immersive VR environment (IVRE) was used performing design review sessions during the bid preparation stage. It is about understanding practitioners’ reflection hence the study augments previous insights based on direct observation and audio-video recordings of multiple design meetings with interviewing the design participants. The focus is on designers’ perception of the events, their reflection back on their actions, their conceptual understanding of using IVRE in the process, and their view on the possible connection with broader practices of design. A particular strategy was applied in conducting retrospective discussions with the participants in a data review session format, consisting in both playing back video-clips (thematically selected from the video data set), and revealing the researcher’s interpretation around what was happening during the design sessions. This was aimed to allow the participants’ reflection on how they experienced particular episodes and to engage them with the research questions, for asking them to describe their understanding and reasoning behind the events. Early analysis suggests that the interview data is particularly informing with regard to participants’ perspective on how using IVRE in the design review connects with other VR/ BIM enabled ways of performing the process and exposes their insight on the potential impact on the broader construction context.

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:67902
Uncontrolled Keywords:designers' reflection-on-action, immersive virtual reality environment (IVRE), construction design practice
Additional Information:First published in ARCOM proceedings: ISBN 9780955239083


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