Student using the new VR technology

Virtual Reality Technology Training Now Available at the Visual Resource Center

August 26, 2022

Recognizing the increasing prevalence and importance of virtual reality as a design tool, the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) acquired a computer station with VIVE Pro virtual reality technology, including 3D digital modeling using Rhino, SketchUp, and Reddit. The technology can support the design process from drawing (painting in pixels) through each iterative generation to the completed design, including client explorations in 3D.

If a site visit is not feasible, virtual 3D exploration is available anywhere in the world using Google Earth.  Fly high above a city—Madrid, Barcelona, Paris—to explore its geographical context, zoom in to see how city blocks are laid out, then explore at street level. Additional virtual site visits can be made throughout the design process.

Students can experience designed spaces by exploring inside and around digital models. The virtual environment can be manipulated to simulate different times of day to see how light and shadow will interplay in a space. Students can experiment with various textures and materials to evaluate the impact on design and the built environment. Sounds (birds, waves, traffic) can enhance the experience, awakening the senses to the surrounding landscape and environment.  

CAP students are invited to schedule a training session at the Visual Resource Center (VRC). As students pilot test the technology and discover capabilities and applications, the program will expand to include more VR headsets. Although the VR station will be permanently installed in the third-floor photography room, equipment can be checked-out for instructional purposes and presentations during jury reviews.

Contact Jesse Kuroiwa, Instructor and Production Manager of the VRC for more information.