Digital MethodsResearchPhD
Jan Philipp Drude

Changing Perspective: First-Person Modular Design in VR

Jan Philipp Drude

Screenshot aus Project DisCo von Jan Philipp Drude Screenshot aus Project DisCo von Jan Philipp Drude Screenshot aus Project DisCo von Jan Philipp Drude © Jan Philipp Drude



Architects have long spent hunched over their desk/screen, envisioning a building through the interpretive layer of geometric abstraction. In times of immersive technology we have, for the first time, the opportunity to leave this high vantage point in favour of a first-person modelling approach, where the designer is surrounded by the design in actual scale and interacts with it through movements of the body.
The thesis will argue for the reconciliation between a sculptural approach to architecture and the use of digital design through a virtual-reality layer. An example for such a layer will be given in the form of Project DisCo. The thesis will examine the difference between approaches of immersive, bottom-up sculpting and the Albertian approach of top-down, god-view design, as described by Mario Carpo.
Project DisCo focuses on modular systems of components, that can be designed as assemblies with their own connection logic. This is a deliberate choice by the author over design with abstract geometry or topological objects born from an interest in modularity and the advantages that such an approach has over 3D-painting approaches, often employed in VR applications in terms of precision. The abandonment of a geometric/topological approach also means working directly with digital representations of physical objects.
Finally the thesis will investigate the potential of collaborative design in VR, allowing for new insight on the design in real-time through how other people harness it. This also opens up a potential to use game-play and story-telling approaches from computer games as drivers in a design process.


Desired Degree:

  • Dr.Ing.

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