As an architect exploring the meaning and design of fluid spaces, I have been curious about the potential of VR for representing and creating ambiances—not only visualizing but also feeling and testing spatial variations/spaces of affect. In 2017 and 2018 at l’Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, I have supervised the VR-related work of two wonderful students enrolled in the Advanced Master in Design by Data: Keerthana Govindarazan (2016-17) and Bonny Nichol (2017-18). Both have been investigating how VR can be used as a design tool.
On one hand, Govindarazan developed a “rudimentary web VR system” to “user-test architectural design for behavioral patterns”. To conduct her experiment and test if behavior in VR environments were similar to expected behaviors in real life, she started by modeling a space based on an architectural principle devised by design theorist and practitioner Christopher Alexander (author of A Pattern Language, 1977):On the other hand, Nichol focuses on the concept of “attention”. She is aims at translating eye-tracking and EEG inputs captured during VR spatial experience as design data.