Field lab | Virtual reality design methods lab

Virtual reality design methods lab

Some products of the creative industries are too big to be 3D-printed. Other techniques are required to provide an immersive experience that allow clients, users to experience different design options during the making of the object, buildings, public space or landscapes for instance. VR is likely to be such a technology that can become part of the design practices of the creative industry.

The VRDML field lab (Virtual reality design methods lab) focusses on the use of virtual reality in the process of designing, modifying, and re-using new and existing buildings, city districts and landscapes. It offers the necessary space, equipment and staff support for selected small and medium enterprises (SME's) in architectural services industry to get acquainted with VR as a new technology. It enables these SME's to co-develop with TU Delft staff new applications that will increase the competitiveness of their design-led firms in the (international) market.

here, you can find more information on this fieldlab.

Finished projects


The experiment UNStudio proposed challenged the notion of navigation by not letting the user move through space by letting the space revolve around the user itself. By making the VR-user stationary and eliminating traditional types of navigaton one would make optimum use of the strenghts which the virtual medium embodies. Various geometrical concepts were explored with Rhino, Grasshopper and Maya to craft a space that was suitable to revolve around the user in VR in which the non-directional character of the space was key.

  • Concept 1: The Folding Isosurface uses metaballs to generate a series of interconnected spaces through which the user can traverse. The result is a non-directional fluid environment that hosts a wide range of spatial conditions.

    Concept 2: The Procedural Network is based a series of points that are connected with curves based on a closest point component. This subsequently is wrapped with a surface which results in a 3 dimensional network of paths.

    Concept 3: The Morphed Gyroid A traditonal gyroid doens’t contain any straight lines or planar symmetries and can be multiplied and linked from each of its edges. The morphed gyroid breaks the stacked repetition by twisting the entire geoemetry around 1 axis, providing a rich variations in spatial experiences.

  • vrdml-reimagining-vr-space

Navigation and Non-Directionality
The experiments with the models in VR resulted in suprisingly little motion sickness for the users due to the fact that the viewpoint remained static while geometries could be “revolved around” and “pulled towards” towards the user.
Furthermore, navigation and the sense of orientation was not lost dispite the movements of the geometry, partialy due to the fact that the user was in control of the operations.

Finally, the non-euclidan spaces appear to be a solid match for this type of movement and navigation due to the fact that planar faces would give direction to the experience. A lack of hierarcy appears to be key.
In all the three explored concepts, there is no up or down, left or right since the space doesn’t contain a noteable hierarcy nor “preferred” orientation. By not incorporating the traditonal rules of physics (such as gravity), not trying to emulate the physical world (recreating what we know) and furthermore removing directionality from the environment, an experience was created that proved to be a great way to challenge the classic notion of what a VR space is.

View the whole Design report here.