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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Real teaching and learning through virtual reality

Petric, J. and Ucelli, G. and Conti, G. (2003) Real teaching and learning through virtual reality. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 1 (1). pp. 2-11. ISSN 1478-0771

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Abstract

This paper addresses an articulated vision of Virtual Reality, which lends itself to design collaboration in teaching, learning and communication of architectural design ideas among students, design professionals and client bodies during the early stages of the design process.Virtual Reality (VR) has already acquired a new degree of complexity through development of network-based virtual communities and the use of avatars. A key intrinsic quality of VR technology is to support collaborative design experience. The design tools developed for this experiment are capable of creating 3D objects in a shared VR environment, thus allowing the design and its evolution to be shared.The choice of programming language (JavaTM) reflects the desire to achieve scalability and hardware independence, which in turn allows for the creation of a VR environment that can co-exist between high-end supercomputers and standard PCs. The prototype design environment was tested using PC workstations and an SGI system running in a Reality Centre.