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Design Visualization And Service Learning: Using Photorealistic Computer Rendering To Support A Third World Community Development Project

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Graphics and Visualization

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.422.1 - 14.422.12



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Paper Authors


Stan Guidera Bowling Green State University

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Dr. Stan Guidera is a registered architect and an Associate Professor in Architecture at Bowling Green State University. His areas of specialization are in Building Information Modeling and design visualization.

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Christopher Hill Linedota Architects

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Christopher Hill is an architect and partner with Linedota Architects in London, England. He has taught architectural design at the University of Nottingham and his firm is involved with a wide variety of projects throughout the UK as well as internationally.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design Visualization and Service Learning: Using Photorealistic Computer Rendering to Support a Third-World Community Development Project


Computer rendering has evolved to a point where the ability to generate photorealistic images is a standard feature in most CAD applications. The objective of photorealistic rendering is to “generate images from computer modeled scenes with an image quality as close to real life as possible” [1]. The origins of computer rendering are rooted in technological developments that are nearly a half-century old. However, more recent developments in photorealistic rendering applications and in the processing power available in desktop and laptop computeres have made highly realistic design visualization accessible for most users of applications with 3D modeling capabilities.

The application of advanced digital rendering technologies is commonly associated with computer gaming and high-profile Hollywood digital-animation productions. However, the photorealistic rendering can also be utilized as part of strategy developed to respond to complex communication problems. The communication potential of photorealistic rendering played a key role supporting a recent project involving the development of physical and virtual prototypes for third-world community structures. This project, which was initially undertaken to provide assistance to a village in a remote area of rural Uganda, has developed into a proposal for school and community structures that could potentially be replicated in multiple locations and accommodate a range of environmental conditions. The project was influenced by the priority the project architects placed on developing a culturally responsive solution while accommodating extensive economic and technical constraints including designing a structure that facilitated participation by members of the local population in the construction process.

Project Background

The project team was initially assembled with practitioners, faculty and students in the UK, with all professional services provided on a pro-bono basis. Christopher Hill, principal with Linedota Architects in London and a faculty member in architecture at the University of Nottingham, was the project leader. The technical parameters established for the project included the following:

≠ To build for 30% of the cost of conventional construction in rural Uganda.

≠ To build in 30% of the time required with conventional construction in rural Uganda.

≠ To be carbon neutral or negative, and environmentally sustainable with potential to reuse or recycle 100% of the materials.

≠ To be safer than common construction practices in rural Uganda under earthquake and wind load conditions.

Guidera, S., & Hill, C. (2009, June), Design Visualization And Service Learning: Using Photorealistic Computer Rendering To Support A Third World Community Development Project Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5061

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