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Designing Virtual Architecture: from Place to User Centred Design

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  • Design

Abstract

The internet and the World Wide Web have entered our daily lives and networked environments have become an important extension of our living environment. The effect of this is the definition of the place around us is expanded. Through the use of an architectural metaphor, we are now considering the use of place as a basis for organising our virtual environment and therefore raises the need for principles and models for designing virtual architecture. Virtual Architecture, or as others call it virtual worlds or cyberspace, interprets, represents and designs the World Wide Web as a place, which supports an extended range of online individual and collaborative activities. Different platforms currently in use for designing and implementing virtual architecture aim at providing 3D virtual worlds as the design outcome. This common aim has an emphasis on the visualisation of virtual architecture, resulting in an emphasis on the design of 3D place-like forms. In this article we present a range of development issues that lead us to change the focus from the design of place-centric to user-centric virtual architecture.

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