Setting the stage for the future progress of virtual reality production for designers

Hamilton, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7222-209X, 2019. Setting the stage for the future progress of virtual reality production for designers. In: A. Murnieks, H. Shaw, J. Coorey and R. Tegtmeyer, eds., (Inter)play: Motion Design Education (MODE) Summit: MODE 19 conference proceedings. Focal Press, pp. 85-95.

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One of the most important questions for any designer or artist using Virtual Reality (VR) is not to use it as a gimmick. VR needs be used to communicate knowledge and ideas, add new views and take you where only VR can take you. How we experience VR, augmented reality or 360-degree video is important. It is quite likely that augmented reality will be the most popular of these forms
in the future. But for learning and education, understanding designers working practices the VR headset maybe more effective as it occupies users’ full vision with less distraction. Its solitary nature could be one of its strengths when used appropriately.

This paper seeks to show how VR could be a useful tool to help students under- stand the design process through its representation of design studios, design artefacts, and the making process. The paper also discusses the opportunity to develop a broader visual language for VR and to offer an alternative approach beyond the “gaming aesthetic” that often characterises the medium. A key aim being to create a visually authentic user experience. Jonathan Hamilton has been a practicing designer and lecturer for 30 years, with 14 years as a full-time lecturer and researcher, at one of the UK’s largest art and design universities; Nottingham Trent University (NTU). In discussions with col- leagues over these years they have noticed changes in student understanding of the design process and professional practice. Studio visits are an essential part of this student understanding, yet restricted, as many design studios can only take a small number of students at a time. With UK graphic design cohorts well over 100 students this means only a small percentage can visit any one studio. Exposure to a variety of studios, and their different working methods, helps students to understand that there are a range of approaches to the design process, which they could then be applied to their own work.

This paper reports on a research project “Communities of Design” lead by Hamilton and theatre design expert Kate Burnett, in its first case study investigating approaches to documenting the design studio of a recently deceased, international opera theatre designer; Paul Brown, using an alternative method of capturing the space for VR. This method intends to produce an authentic representation of the space capturing atmosphere, mood, light qualities and detailed surface textures, to try and give a more representative experience of being in the studio. As well as documenting the space with VR, video interviews were made with Browns’ studio assistants and collaborators, filmed in the studio space before it was dismantled after his death. Browns’ design models, artefacts and drawings with their complex surface treatments were also documented using a range of methods and technologies including video, photography and 3D scanning. The intention being to include these within the VR space but also to have this content accessible online for when VR is not available for students.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Description: Paper presented at Motion Design Education (MODE) Summit: MODE 19, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, 30 May - 1 June 2019.
Creators: Hamilton, J.
Publisher: Focal Press
Date: 31 July 2019
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 03 Dec 2020 11:31
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:12

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