Immersive design environments for performative architectural design: a BIM-based approach.

Akın, Şahin
In architectural design processes, the use of shared, simulated, and synchronized virtual environments and computational methods becomes widespread. Virtual reality immerses users in a three-dimensional digital environment and has the potential to make them involve actively in the act of design. Daylighting is an essential concept in architectural design, but its assessment and integration to the design process can be complicated. The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools is identified as a critical solution for performance-based architectural design with its integrated simulation tools. In general, both BIM models and performative simulation data are visualized through non-immersive computer displays. In opposition, immersive environments can create an interactive, multi-sensory, first-person view in three-dimensional computer-generated environments, and can increase designers’ spatial cognition and perception. This research points out the need for interactive and integrated design tools in immersive environments (IE) to achieve higher performing architectural solutions that support the optimal use of daylighting illumination. In this study, a tool named HoloArch was developed that increases precision and design perception in terms of daylighting performance for BIM users in IE. HoloArch’s user experience studies were conducted in the forms of workshops a user study: DCG Summer School at the University of Lisbon, Immersive and Responsive Environments workshops, and a user study at METU. The feedback was analyzed with both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods. The results show that immersive environments have the potential to augment designers’ perception and interaction, to enhance designers’ data workflows and to support performative design processes.