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4. 286 Virtual Architecture Mary Lou Maher, Visiting Professor Marym@mit. edu Spring 2002 Time: Tuesday, 3 -6
Virtual Architecture • This course examines the range of computer-mediated communication techniques, focussing on virtual places, and considers the implications when interaction occurs within a computer-mediated environment. Students will design a virtual place for professional organizations. • This course is taught in coordination with a course in the School of International Affairs at Columbia University. The two courses meet at the same time. The MIT architecture students will be designing a virtual meeting place for professional use. The Columbia students will evaluate and analyse its use and write a research paper on the implications for organizations.
Virtual Architecture Virtual architecture, virtual worlds or cyberspace is an approach to understanding, representing and designing the World Wide Web as a functional place. – House and support various kinds of activities. – Use of architectural metaphor. – Analogy to physical built environments.
Visualisation of Virtual Architecture – Multi-user text-based virtual worlds. – Two-dimensional graphical virtual worlds. – 3 D immersive virtual worlds.
Visualisation of Virtual Architecture 1. 1. 2. 3. 2. 3. Bay. MOO (http: //baymoo. sfsu. edu: 4242). Tappedin (http: //www. tappedin. org: 8000). Active. Worlds (http: //www. activeworlds. com).
Origin of Virtual Architecture 1. The origin of the technology of virtual architecture is computer games, featuring the “gun”. 2. (http: //www. simnet. com)
Examples of Virtual Architecture 1. 2. 3. 1. Cybertown: 3 D Chat (http: //www. cybertown. com) 2. Guggenheim virtual museum: virtual exhibition (http: //www. guggenheim. org/exhibitions/virtual) 3. Virtual campus in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Sydney: online learning (http: //www. arch. usyd. edu. au: 7778)
3 D Virtual Worlds: Quake & Blaxxun 3 D Worlds restrict functions to moving around and various digital communication. Games software has focused primarily on 3 D rendering. Munich airport centre with Blaxxun (http: //www. mac-airport. de)
3 D Virtual Worlds: Lambda. MOO + VRML Object representation in a MOO supports sophisticated tools such as projector, whiteboard, recorder, conversational robot. Except for entering and exiting the room, most of the functions are separated from the visualisation. Commands need to be typed in. The 3 D model provides visual references only. Virtual campus (http: //www. arch. usyd. edu. au: 7778)
3 D: Active Worlds & Virtual Worlds In these avatar-based worlds, the 3 D objects have simple behaviours such as opening web pages. Avatars can be programmed to act like agents. Talking to each other happens by typing in a chat window. Virtual Worlds (http: //www. vworlds. org)
Current 3 D Virtual Architecture 1. Simulation of physical architecture/Surreal vision. 2. An escape from gravity, solidity and other physical restrictions. 3. An online environment with a sense of place and a sense of presence for people to communicate with others and to work on simple tasks.
Only 3 D Virtual Architecture? 1. The origin of virtual worlds as Internet games and military simulation requires high “virtual reality”. 2. Superficial understanding of the architectural metaphor. 3. Original needs of virtual architecture as a simulation of physical architecture: multimedia presentation and CAAD.
Potential for Virtual Architecture 1. Better support for professional organisations. 2. Extended human ability within the moral and ethical standards (virtual cyborg? ). 3. Full potential of being virtual: dynamic structure, humanising place and so on.
Design Example: Virtual Office
Active Worlds Environment
Analysing Computer-Mediated Communication
g Codin Scheme Coding Scheme. . .
Observed Differences. . .
Observed Differences. . .
FTF Comments. . . l l l smooth & straightforward apart from interruptions natural use of verbal communication plus familiarity of sketching environment, allowed participants to produce graphical representations with more ease. eye contact varied depending on subjects and rarely simultaneous. . . Comments. . .
CMCD-a Comments. . . l l some difficulty in the beginning adjusting to the new medium. hardly used video channel & most of the time covered it with the brief window for remainder of session. higher levels of social communication, interruptions & repetitions of verbal utterances, in order to establish and maintain on-line presence. 2 D graphical representations most of the time … & not always comprehensible (even by their authors). Comments. . .
CMCD-b Comments. . . l l difficulty in typing and drawing at the same time. Therefore subjects proceeded to annotate their sketches with verbal representations. fewer words, less repetition & more thinking/ reflecting with subjects getting straight to the point. Often seen rewording or revisiting verbal representations the semi-synchronous nature of the CMCD-b collaborative environment appeared to allow participants more time to reflect on ideas. consequently their graphical representations responded to well thought out ideas instead of a spontaneous reactions to the verbal representations at hand. Comments. . .
Next week Topic: Computer mediated communication Sudweeks, F. a Rafaeli, S. (1996). How do you get a hundred strangers to agree: Computer mediated communication and collaboration, in Harrison, T. M. and Stephen, T. D. (eds), Computer Networking and Scholarship in the 21 st University, SUNY Press, pp 115 -136. http: //www. it. murdoch. edu. au/~sudweeks/papers/strangers. html Gurak, L. J. (1995). Cybercasting about Cyberspace, Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 1/ January 1, 1995. http: //www. december. com/cmc/mag/1995/jan/gurak. html Format: In a Virtual World using typing for talking Preparation: Reading and visit www. activeworlds. com