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Virtual Reality Technology And The Teaching Of Architectural Lighting

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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

Instructional Innovations in AEC Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1350.1 - 14.1350.16



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Paper Authors

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Mary Ann Frank Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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David Cowan Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Michael Boyles Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Jeffrey Rogers Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Keith Goreham Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Jatmika Suryabrata Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

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Yulyta Kodrat Indonesian Institute of the Arts

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

Virtual Reality Technology and the Teaching of Architectural Lighting Abstract

The study of lighting in architectural and interior design education is diverse. It ranges from energy efficient lighting and daylighting to studies that assess the effect of illuminance upon finish materials and color interaction. This often leads to attempts to squeeze lighting into an already crowded curriculum and is compounded when efforts are made to develop complex study models of interior lighting environments. In short, there is often little time to explore these topics in adequate detail.

This paper explores an alternative to the study of interior lighting environments through use of a Virtual Reality Theater. It discusses the development of one of these highly realistic virtual environments and how it is being used to introduce students to understand and interpret varying lighting scenarios of an interior environment and, as well, how it is generating a series of international research endeavors focused upon subjective impressions of interior environments.

This study is grounded in the seminal work in this field initiated by such scholars as Flynn1,2,3. It poses the question of whether or not software-generated images can accurately simulate lighting effects of the physical environment so that subjective impressions are legitimately measured. This research is used as a backdrop to this particular paper that explores the use of the Theater as an educational tool and how it offers up solutions to reducing the time to create complex study models. The use of this technology to alleviate a crowded curriculum, to explore it as an effective teaching tool, and to assess its value and limitations, remains the crux of what will be discussed herein.

1.0 Introduction

This paper introduces an exploratory study into the psychological implications of lighting. It will first discuss the background literature on this topic and then proceed to describe how this historical research was integrated into an undergraduate course in lighting within the Interior Design and Architectural Technology Programs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The main focus of the paper will be on an overview of the events that took place in the classroom and the pedagogical methods that were used to introduce students to a 3-D virtual reality theater that utilized highly realistic lit environments. It should also be noted that this study followed upon extensive research that examined whether or not computer images could be used to accurately study the effects of luminance distribution on the subjective impressions of luminous environments. This study will be briefly discussed to set the foundation of the work attempted within the classroom and the virtual reality theater.

Frank, M. A., & Cowan, D., & Boyles, M., & Rogers, J., & Goreham, K., & Suryabrata, J., & Kodrat, Y. (2009, June), Virtual Reality Technology And The Teaching Of Architectural Lighting Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4720

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