Using virtual and augmented reality to study architectural lighting


  • James Birt
  • Patricia Manyuru
  • Jonathan Nelson



VR, AR, architectural lighting


This paper presents industry stakeholder insights from the implementation of a dual modality intervention using virtual and augmented reality simulation to study complex lighting theory in architecture design. Using a design based research method the aim is to evaluate these insights and inform a pilot study to educate first year architectural design students on the complexities of lighting the built environment and methods to improve architectural workflow. The aim is to enable learners to experience natural and artificial lighting methods comparatively in real-time through multiple comparative visualisation methods. This is important to make informed evaluations regarding architectural designs in terms of spatial quality, character, performance, and user-comfort levels. This in turn allows architects to rapidly modify their designs to accommodate or mitigate the environmental effects. Outcomes from the initial usability test highlight the ability to switch back and forth between the virtual and augmented reality simulation technology, and between lighting visualisation modes as a huge step forward by the industry stakeholders. Additionally, the idea of representing the physical building where the simulation took place virtually using a detailed mapping gave a real-world anchor that made the simulations easy to navigate, leading to improved satisfaction and engagement. However, the study also highlighted improvements in the delivery of the simulation is required to improve simulation learnability and efficiency.






ASCILITE Conference - Concise Papers