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Accounting for users: design team work in immersive virtual reality environments

Maftei, L. and Harty, C. (2013) Accounting for users: design team work in immersive virtual reality environments. In: Proceedings 29th Annual ARCOM Conference, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 2-4 September 2013, Reading, UK, pp. 157-166.

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The study examines how designers account for the use and users of their design in the situation of reviewing the design in an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment (IVRE). The focus is on the interactions whereby designers express the imagined perspective of being users, and on how the design meeting is configured with respect to the concern around the use of the future building by the real users. Observations are made around how designers express these ‘narratives’ around experiencing a design as imaginary users through various modes (verbal, graphical, behavioural) involving different procedures and forms of representation. The case study is an on-going construction project for a new hospital in the UK, where an IVRE was used performing design review sessions during the bid preparation stage. Drawing on data based on direct observation and audio-video recordings of multiple design meetings, the scrutiny is on how architects adopt the position of end- users in design sessions in which users do not participate. The aim is to examine the nature and dynamics of interactions inside a design team as they imagine users’ needs in an IVRE. The focus is on how architects express and test the ‘usage’ of their design in this particular technological setting, where life- like movements and physical interactions with the design are possible.

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:67903
Uncontrolled Keywords:design, immersive virtual reality environments, interactions, users
Additional Information:First published in ARCOM proceedings: ISBN 9780955239076


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