About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3851-3860
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

IMMERSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN : WEAVING AUTHENTIC CONTENT, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, 3D VIRTUAL WORLDS AND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

M. Hunter

ENSA-PM (FRANCE)
This paper presents a recent study to enhance multiliteracies of French architecture undergraduates in a blended approach where language learning, architectural and design education converge and are supported through immersive 3D virtual environments and other Web 2.0 tools. The overall aim was to raise student awareness to the affordances of a 3D immersive environment such as Second Life (SL) as both an experimental and real world design space, using English as the working language.

The specific aims were to :
1) collaboratively co-design a trans-disciplinary course integrating English as a second language and architecture, in order to
2) raise awareness to existing professional practice using three-dimensional immersive technologies or 'virtual worlds' as working tools and creative design spaces, and to
3) develop language of, in and through virtual architectural design.

Schaffer (2005) emphasises the need for students to encounter thickly authentic environments that align the interests of the learner with a community of practice’s ‘ways of doing, being, caring, and knowing.’ The routine incorporation and use of 3D immersive virtual world technology as design spaces in architectural design practice were demonstrated, explored, experienced and discussed in and through commissioned and non-commissioned replica, prototype, hybrid and creative design builds.

The course design aimed to enhance second language learning of, in and through content where both language- and technology-in-use are the vehicles for collaborative and communicative mediated activities. With this dual focus, sessions and activities were collaboratively designed between the language and content expert in a content-driven approach, providing language scaffolding in pre, during and post event activities.

The SL environment was the topic of inquiry, being the artifact of discovery and exploration in the sense-making process itself, serving as a creative, collaborative and social space in the immersive learning experience with the geographically distant architect, local language expert and students. This exploratory course focused on students’ exploration, critiquing and discussion of virtual architectural concepts and design as social interactions and processes, thereby reducing the cognitive load on students by focusing on collaborative knowledge creation rather than acquiring advanced SL building skills.

To activate language and high order critical thinking, the overall course design was based on preparatory readings, discussions and presentations to raise awareness to the varying dimensions of ‘virtuality’ and ‘virtual spaces’. In-world SL sessions, consisting of induction, basic building, operational skills and four virtual project visits were organized to raise awareness to architecture and design in 3D immersive environments. In-world activities encouraged student collaboration in and through textual and verbal discourse to accomplish a convergence of sense-making in and through the virtual project visits, visual references and the holistic immersive experience.

Outcomes, their interpretation and evaluation, together with the challenges and lessons learnt will be discussed. This study contributes to the larger EU project ARCHI21 (Architectural and Design based Education and Practice through Content & Language Integrated Learning using Immersive Virtual Environments for 21st Century Skills).
@InProceedings{HUNTER2012IMM,
author = {Hunter, M.},
title = {IMMERSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN : WEAVING AUTHENTIC CONTENT, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, 3D VIRTUAL WORLDS AND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {3851-3860}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Hunter
TI - IMMERSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN : WEAVING AUTHENTIC CONTENT, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, 3D VIRTUAL WORLDS AND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 3851
EP - 3860
ER -
M. Hunter (2012) IMMERSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN : WEAVING AUTHENTIC CONTENT, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, 3D VIRTUAL WORLDS AND LANGUAGE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 3851-3860.
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