The Influence of emergent mixed-reality technologies on design thinking

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2019
Cindioğlu, Hasane Ceren
Design Thinking is still an unexplored field in terms of usage of emergent technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR). This thesis focuses on the potentials of the MixedReality (MR) environment, as the most recent evolution of VR-based technologies, in the context of architectural basic design education. The research analyzes the influence of emergent MR technologies on design thinking abilities of the first-year architectural students in the context of three-dimensional basic design tasks by comparing the two different design environments, which are the physical environment and the MR environment. The study consists of two sets of protocol studies based on a series of design processes by using regular design tools in the physical environment and using a new design tool in the MR design environment via Microsoft HoloLens. The protocol studies were conducted with four participants, who were the first-year architectural design students at METU, Department of Architecture. A mixed- methodology, which is a combination of think-aloud protocols, interviews, observation, and Linkography, was used to reach a reliable understanding of the potentials of the MR environment. Analysis of the protocol studies showed that there was a positive correlation between MR technology usage and the design thinking processes of the first-year architectural students. The results indicated that the participants experienced more creative and productive design processes in the MR design environment rather than the physical environment.