Virtual 3D versus Physical Model and Hand Graphics: Comparing Three-Dimensional Representations of Space in Interior Design Studios

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Digital solutions have been integrated in both interior design education and practice for visual communication. Because the ability to think visually and to represent 3-D space realistically is crucial for developing a design solution prior to any building being constructed, educators have long debated the positive and negative effects of electronic technology versus traditional mediums on visual communication in design education. A study was undertaken in the interior design program at Central Michigan University to investigate the application and perception of three-dimensional spatial communication. Questionnaires were distributed to faculty and students at all levels within design studios. Personal interviews were also developed to provide more detailed qualitative descriptions on this topic. The research revealed a common agreement that virtual visualization, as well as the conventional physical models and hand graphics, all have their place within the teaching and learning process of interior design. Although different opinions and approaches do exist, awareness of the pros and cons of each medium could assist both faculty and students in determining the most appropriate method to use in their visual communication within design studios.


Keywords: Virtual 3D, Visual Communication
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Julie Zuo

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Environmental Studies
Mount Pleasant, MI, USA

Julie Zuo is an Assistant Professor teaching Interior Design within the department of Human Environmental Studies at Central Michigan University. Julie has a M.S. in Architecture and a M.Des. in Digital Design from the Univeristy of Cincinnati. Julie's continued research focus includes Computer Aided Design, multimedia, and effective integration of new technologies within higher education.

Ref: T08P0051