Digital Architecture Research Alliance
Digital Architecture Research Alliance

Inhabiting Omni-Architecture

Inhabiting Omni-Architecture

JEssie Rogers - 2019

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Architecture is dynamic, ever-changing with a desire to be encountered. Relative to place, light, materiality, colour, form, acoustics and sequences, many spatial qualities in which details cannot be completely conveyed unless experienced first-hand. The ability to move freely within a temporal and three-dimensional environment is not able to be replicated with conventional tools of representation for dissemination. Drawings on paper and small models of card give the viewer an opportunity to interpret the experience of a design, but they do not ever fully comprehend the spatial qualities in a way that mimics the dynamic nature of the architecture. Immersive virtual architecture offers the viewer an opportunity to understand the dynamic nature of moving through architecture and the relationships between scales, perspectives, proportions and the like more accurately. Strategically this remains the most efficient method to avoid situations where architects submitting drawings with the intended built form not turning out as they had expected, then having to perform alterations. Virtual reality, being one of the most intriguing visualisation tools currently existing, although is virtual, is dealing directly with created forms of architecture, thus via modelling and scripting is defined as virtually built. Plan, elevation, and section drawings are mostly suitable to examine at a certain printed scale, and concerning critical information, shown at the given scale become less significant. Architecture places a high level of importance on the occupants’ perception and experience of residing within space. Virtual reality as a tool provides a high-quality opportunity for such spaces to be experienced before concept and final dissemination to the designer or the audience. Various forms of immersive virtual architecture currently exist to serve many purposes, including evaluating unbuilt form, education, visiting remote heritage sites, social gaming and to simply reside within. Re-imagining immersive architectural qualities in a specific way within the virtual space is the sole focus of this thesis. Through a series of research through design investigations a trilogy of virtual classifications, the environment condition, inhabitant and built form, are defined as the vital ingredients to generate an omni-architecture and are all to be designed relative to each other. This leverages computational design, digital locomotion mechanics and digital ephemera in a real-time virtual engine, a speculative environment is created comparatively to manipulating the physical laws of the physical world. Re-configuring conventional elements of virtual space in-habitation, this work examines architectural properties such as orientation, scale, temporality, perception, virtual form and the possibility of a virtual body that can navigate an environment in a way unique to this research project. Proposed is an alternative spatial experience of architectural dynamics to enhance such qualities in a highly sophisticated condition. Inhabitants residing within virtual reality environments create an opportunity for architects to virtually build physically impossible structures. Commercially the virtual space does not belong to architects, but rather game designers, however, they are beginning to turn to architects to help develop their worlds. This concept wades into the notion of what immersive virtual reality environments can become with the architect at the core of virtual design, with the ability to re-imagine the definition in which a user inhabits virtual space.

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