“How can architects better visualize their projects and share those visualizations with clients in a meaningful way?” This was the question at the heart of my first major research and design project at the HCI. Venturing into the field to interview and observe architecture students, professors and professionals, I identified important communication breakdowns and design opportunities.
Synthesis: Identifying the Problem
Based on my investigations, I decided to explore a method for architects to communicate more effectively with clients by visualizing their projects as interactive 3D environments rather than by expensive walkthrough animations or abstract diagrams.
Design: The Solution Comes to Light
My hypothetical product would be a plugin for the popular Revit drafting software that could take existing architectural models and export them into a format that allows the client and architect to move through the building as though they were controlling a first-person video game.
Testing: Virtual Tours
This solution was tested by creating a pair of virtual apartments within a video game engine and letting users walk around independently while giving their thoughts on the design. Results were positive, when the testers weren’t purposely jumping out of windows.
Research and Evaluation
Carnegie Mellon University
Prof. Matt Kam
Source Development Kit