With the increased virtualization of interior environments, integrating virtual reality (VR) components into post-secondary design studios is often discussed in the discipline of interior design. However, current analysis primarily explores translating or visualizing existing design work into VR environments, often emphasizing graphic and experiential outcomes. Consequently, there is little discussion concerning pedagogical applications using VR environments to benefit the interior design studio review process. This paper explores a preliminary systemic framework for integrating VR hardware and software into a post-secondary interior design studio’s pedagogical approach. This framework responds to a multitude of prominent barriers that occur in academic settings during the preparation and delivery of VR-orientated design reviews for student work and derives from empirical research conducted at the University of Manitoba’s Virtual Reality Laboratory. Initial explorations examined 3D models using VR head-mounted displays and computer software at various design stages throughout an academic design studio. From these explorations, the paper outlines three fundamental categories as a basis of VR integration for the design review process. First, pre-virtualization inspections. This category outlines critical preparatory considerations. The second fundamental is the applicable stage of integration. This determines the suitability of VR integration into the existing interior design studio teaching chronology. The third category is user access considerations. This discusses the delivery method of virtualization between the instructor and students. Through a detailed expansion of the three fundamental categories, this paper provides a systemic framework to reduce barriers and increase positive outcomes when integrating VR environments into the post-secondary design review process for in-person and online synchronous learning in the discipline of interior design.
Jason Shields is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interior Design at the University of Manitoba. In 2018, Jason was selected by Interior Design Canada’s PROpel program as one of the 20 top emerging design professionals in Canada. His previous work experience in the professional industry has allowed him to take a multi-faceted approach to research and design. His work explores the relationship between architecture, technology, and the built environment. Current research examines the role of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Interior Design and the impacts on archivism in contemporary BIM modelling frameworks. Jason currently teaches undergraduate and graduate interior design studio courses that require the production of contemporary building typologies & architectural installations. Recent studios include the design of a supportive housing unit, media arts centre, and music and performance centre. His most recent research, conducted at the Faculty’s Virtual Reality Lab, received coverage from UM News and The Manitoban. Jason was also awarded the peer-reviewed Innovative Teaching Idea Award from the Interior Design Educators Council in 2020 and 2021. Outside of the discipline of design, Jason’s passions include film, photography, digital archivism, and travel.