Make the Invisible Microclimate Visible: Mixed Reality (MR) Applications for Architecture and Built Environment
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The human experience or sense of space is significantly affected by our skins’ sensory interaction with the localised atmospheric conditions or microclimates that our bodies encounter. Design of a pleasant environment for inhabitants requires a better understanding of microclimates and the many complex phenomena in their formations and subsequent alterations. Yet, attaining a comprehensive understanding of microclimatic formations is challenging due to the multiplicity and invisibility of the parameters involved, whether complicated environmental factors or multi-sensory human input and perception. For such a chaotic situation, computer simulation software packages of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) often remain imprecise and foreign, lacking the multi-senory experiential dimension of architectural space. This lack of personal sensory experience and connectivity to the simulated environment with existing simulation software packages can be bridged by utilising mixed reality (MR) techniques for visualisation.
In this paper we detail the design of a 1:1 scale inhabitable interactive climate chamber to introduce an innovative application of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in the context of environmental performance analysis. The main aim of the project is to explore practical ways of bridging the existing gap between prediction and reality, between qualitative and quantitative assessment of human comfort. A framework for experimental studies, presented in this paper, offers an immersive approach to studying microclimates within a physical domain, amplified through the digitisation of, otherwise invisible, microclimatic data.
KeywordsAugmented Reality (AR) Virtual Reality (VR) Real time data visualisation Multisensory experience Immersive microclimatic visualisation
We thank our colleagues, A. Prof Nancy Cheng from Oregon university who provided insight and expertise that greatly assisted this research, Chen Canhui for his support in digital fabrication and Dr Rafael Moya Castro and Katrina Gaskin for their valuable contributions. We thank Ehsan Shams, Hossein Najafi, Dr Hamed Movahedian and Alireza Bolandnazar for assistance with the AR techniques, and all participants of Sensory Detectives cluster at Hybrid Domains Smartgeometry 2016, Chalmers University, Sweden, for their collaborations during the workshop: Johan Dahlberg, Stefania Dinea, Angelo Figliola, Silvia Funieru, Noemi Hirata, Karthikeyan Kuppu Sundara Raman, Jens Lundin, Carl Molander, Iva Resetar, Toivo Sawen, Ali Tehami, Juste Peciulyte, Olof Holmblad and Johan Hammarberg.
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