Introduction to Architectural Visualization
- Grade level: Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Social Studies
Students begin to familiarize themselves with the capabilities of architectural visualization.
- Use the Internet resources provided to develop a rudimentary understanding of architectural visualization.
Materials & Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
- Discuss with students the concept of architectural visualization. Have them brainstorm a series of questions to answer during their Internet time, such as, What kinds of computer equipment is needed for architectural visualization? or Who are some architects, and what are their qualifications? or Give several examples of ways in which architectural visualization allows us to do architecture-related things that we would not be able to do otherwise.
- Provide students with ample time to examine the architectural visualization Internet resources below so they can answer the questions they raised. Some of the sites provide pointers to information on some of the software applications that are used in electronic visualization. It is not necessary to own the software that is described. The links are provided so that students can learn from them about the kinds of tools that professional architects use.
- Architectural Visualization
This site is from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Faculty and student work, and in-depth information about architectural visualization are provided here.
- Architectural Visualization English Version
This is the personal home page of an engineering student at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The page is to become a clearinghouse of information about architectural visualization.
- Nexus: Mobile Floating City
This is an example of what can be done with architectural visualization tools. The project is a floating city that people would be able to visit as a vacation site.
- Radiance WWW Server
Radiance is a tool that facilitates lighting design. This is the Radiance home page, with information about the tool.
This site from the School of Architecture Property and Planning in Auckland, New Zealand, contains a variety of types of information on Radiance.
This is a step-by-step explanation of the process involved in developing an architectural model.
- ArchiCAD by Graphisoft
ArchiCAD is an architectural computer-assisted design (CAD) software application that helps architects construct models of buildings and sites.
- About ArchiCAD
This site has graphics and videoclips that demonstrate what ArchiCAD can do.
- Books on architectural visualization or that deal with the introduction of technology into architectural practice. Examples are provided below.
Cottom-Winslow, M. (1995) Environmental design: Architecture and technology. New York: PBC International, Inc.
Examines the effects of modern technologies on the activity of architecture. Contains fabulous pictures.
Thomsen, C. W. (1994) Visionary architecture: From Babylon to virtual reality. Munich: Prestel-Verlag.
Fascinating book chronicling the history of architecture and outlining the world of computer-augmented architecture. Fabulous pictures and diagrams.
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