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This paper describes the development of collaborative virtual environment (CVE) software based on a game engine to support the early stages of design in the context of architectural education. The precedent of narrative drawing technique in architecture is introduced. From this we position the use of a CVE as a means to explore design context in a manner that is not possible when using typical architectural visualization software. Outcomes from software trials are reported that establish the value of working in a real time environment where design iterations can be tested from multiple points of view, and the important role of 3D sound to evoke occupancy and materiality. Negative results are reported in relation to collaborative design functionality and a revised approach based on an integrated project database is described.
Date of Conference: 14-16 July 2004