The College of Environmental Design (CED) is distinctly dedicated to ensuring that faculty and students have access to the most innovative manufacturing, visualization, projection and fabrication technologies available to the design community. It is clear that advances made in these areas are major forces shaping the environments, buildings, cities, states and regions of the future.
Fall 2018 Activity Update
Virtual (VR) and Augmented (AR) Reality Lab
The new Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) lab at CED, directed by Professor of Architecture Luisa Caldas, is an excellent example of how technology is shaping the human experience. In 2017 Professor Caldas harnessed her research funding, equipment donations from Oculus (Facebook), and support from the CED Architecture department to elevate the conversation around AR/VR and the impact it has on how we build, what we build and where we build. As the design epicenter on campus, CED is well situated to expand the conversation on AR/VR and the lab has gained immediate attention, attracting support from industry leaders like Industrial Light and Magic (Lucasfilm), Oculus (Facebook), and Autodesk.
In its inaugural year, the lab has already addressed the following goals that include: 1) increasing the designer’s ability to visualize interventions in the built environment; 2) addressing social and ecological crises through interactive games and simulations; 3) re-envisioning the design of buildings and experiences on the Berkeley campus, for example considering upgrades in facilities like BAMPFA; 4) launching an undergraduate course called Maps of Berkeley and thereby augmenting the discussion across campus about space planning, building design and future construction efforts. While this collaborative effort has already prompted important discussion and discourse, the work of the AR/VR lab has only just begun.
Urban Analytics Lab
Professor of City and Regional Planning Paul Waddell was a pioneer in harnessing the power of 3D simulation technology and apply his findings to urban economics, transportation, and planning policy. With the help of 6 National Science Foundation grants over the years, Waddell began the Urban Data + Design Lab. Now in partnership with fellow CED faculty members Iryna Dronova, Kyle Steinfeld and Marta Gonzalez, students and post-docs working in the Lab pursue research in advanced urban data science technologies and approaches that have the power to influence a range of urban issues like housing market dynamics. Findings that leverage data science, 3D visualization and visualization software are shaping communities everywhere while informing planning and policy decisions.