Place and Interaction Design in Collaborative Virtual Environments
Within most design schools, collaborative virtual environments are traditionally perceived and used as a Computer-Aided Design tool for 3D modelling and simulation. However, the design of virtual worlds can also be a stand-alone design subject that considers virtual worlds as a novel design context for exploring place and interaction design, and not merely a technical tool for supporting design simulation. This reflects a new understanding of virtual worlds as an alternative kind of environment that people can inhabit and where they can participate in a variety of activities. This project is studying multiuser virtual worlds as a platform for design research – including design computing and design cognition – and design teaching. It is developing an ontology for virtual world technologies to identify their capacity to support design research and future areas for the development of this technology. This work has been published as a chapter in Collaborative Design in Virtual Environments, by Springer. Some of the images from student work in a virtual worlds design project are shown in Figure 3.