DESIGN INFORMATICS & @HOK
VR team : Arno Freeke, Arend Jan Krooneman, Paul de Ruiter
The VR Lab is an initiative of Design Informatics and @HOK and supported by the faculty to further enhance the possibilities for high quality visual feedback during the design process. Effectively combining the knowledge and experience of both groups of the lab in digital design process, in making high end animation and game content into an environment ideal for simulating reality.
The lab offers the capability of generating highly accurate interactive simulation of the design to accurately visually simulate the impact of formal optimization processes and enhance the collaborative design process with the help of a fully immersive digital design environment.
The VR lab is not only a facility. It is primarily an innovative lab which provides students and researchers with an environment to explore , investigate and research the capabilities of the virtual environment.
The VR lab investigates the implementations of Augmented Reality in the digital design process and in general in education. With the capability of generating and visualizing digital design content becoming more mobile AR offers support for an alternative communication and design validation process. This dual capability can enrich the educational experience not only by its application but also by the possibility to apply it on a large scale opening it to large scale bachelor education.
A wide range of education, graduating and research projects are supported and initiated by the VR lab
What we do
The lab provides the platform for implementing advanced techniques and strategies in applying VR into education and research. The combined capability of @HOK and DI provides the lab with an unique powerful merger of knowledge and experience which effectively supports innovative approaches to VR in these fields.
New developments are implemented directly into education in an effort to let students become acquainted with ,and be aware of, this fast developing field of digital design support.
The integration of VR environments in education focuses on three levels of implementation . For large scale implementation less hardware sensitive solutions are investigated like Google Cardboard in order to reach the largest group of students possible. For more high end solutions the Oculus and Vive are used by smaller groups of students. This not only hardware depended but also content depended. The most advanced application of VR in education is the build of an high end VR environment from scratch in the master elective AR0771.
Besides the regular education the lab supports a range of graduation projects and research initiatives focusing on VR.
The research focuses on 3 topics within the VR Lab :
The function of the lab is to research innovative applications of VR in Architecture. The lab focuses on 3 specific topics:
THE VR LAB
Student Graduation Project -
Student Graduation Project -
AR0771 Beyond 3D
This VR exposition hall is the result of a half year project to experiment with the HTC Vive and how its features can be used in architecture and possibly other fields.
The model is built from the ground up in the Unreal 4 game engine using Maya for the 3D modeling. Inside there are different exhibits where the user can try out interactions in VR using the motion controllers.
Here it’s possible to design and build in VR, see models in a technical exploded view, use the motion controllers to draw in 3D space allowing you to make sketches or comments on any model, scale the world around you up or down to experience a design in different scales, and more.
For the Senselab, the new exhibit in the Science Center, we created a scene that also adds other senses to the VR experience. For this we connected an Arduino board to the Unreal Engine. This Arduino controls a relay that switches on a electric fan and a 500W construction light.
In the VR room the user can open the blinds in the ceiling to let in the sunlight, which also turns on the construction light. If you stand directly into the sunlight you will feel the warmth of the high voltage construction light radiating on your body, adding the sense of temperature.
Also there is a window in the wall that opens up, letting in the wind from outside. This triggers the electric fan, allowing the user to feel the wind hitting them in reality as well.
Student Graduation Project - Acoustics
For this student graduation project VR was used as a medium to simulate the experience of acoustics in different spaces.
Three different building designs were made with each their own sound properties. In an external application audio fragments were created with a unique reverberation time, that fits the sound absorption of the room.
When entering the each room in VR, the sound clip starts playing (the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King) that matches the acoustics of the room. This results in a convincing experience of the room and it’s sound properties
Student Graduation Project - Shading Design
Luis Emilio Lopez
This student graduation project visualizes a daylight analysis and the design of a facade shading.This design for a shading was used on the facade of a case study project, the Esplanade Opera House in Singapore.
Two rooms of this building were recreated in VR and the shading design was applied to it to see what the effect was of the daylight into these rooms. With button inputs on the controller it was possible to switch between different variations of the shading design to see the changes of the light and shadow in real time and what this does to the room.
Also an exploded view was made of the facade to give a better understanding of the construction.
Education - AR0771 Beyond 3D
The elective Beyond 3D gives students a chance to make their own VR scene or rendered poster, of their own fantasies. This student made a VR experience on mars where you start out in a desolate mars landscape with in the distance a beacon of light. When approaching this beacon you climb the edge of a huge crater, so find a strange alien structure in the middle of it. When entering the alien structure you start hearing eerie sounds which set a creepy atmosphere. On top of the structure there is a display of different hologram planets.
Education - BK3TE4
This bachelor pilot course was run by Frank Schnater and was an experiment to see how VR could be used as a tool in bachelor education. The students made a technical design for an office building or school, modeled in Rhino. This model was imported into Unreal so it could be viewed in VR. When viewed in VR it was possible to move around the building and grow or shrink the viewer, so every part of the design could be closely evaluated. This lead the students to notice their faults in their technical detailing much quicker, because the building could be experienced in a 1:1 scaled stereoscopic view.
Education - BK3ON3 GeoDesign
For the students of BK3ON3, GeoDesign, we made a VR model of the Hoboken area in Rotterdam. In this model the students can move around in human scale, and with the pull of the trigger they can scale themselves up to become a giant, making the city become a miniature. This allows the student to explore the area from different perspectives and scales. During the design process students will be able to place their own design into this model and evaluate it in VR.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the VR Lab, our research projects or our education related to VR. You can also mail us if you want to use the VR Lab for you graduation or research project.
The lab has a series of dedicated high end gaming computers to support more complex VR scenes. There are several VIVE vr sets and Oculus Rifts to view your project in VR. The software used for high end applications is the Unreal 4 engine.
Questions regarding the VR LAB ? Please contact Arno Freeke from @HOK
HTC Vive - Photograph -Maurizio Pesce
Faculty of Architecture and the
2628 BL Delft