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The Role of VR as a New Game Changer in Computational Design Education
With the rapid advances in technology, virtual reality(VR) re-emerged as an affordable technology providing new potentials for virtual learning environments(VLE). Within the scope of this study, firstly a general perspective on potentials of VR to create an appropriate VLE is put forward regarding the potentials related with learning modalities. Then, VR as a VLE in architectural education is discussed and utilization of VR is revisited considering the fundamentals of education as how to enhance skills regarding creativity, furnish students to adopt future skills and how VR can be used to enhance design understanding as well as space perception and spatial relations. It is deliberated that instead of mirroring the real spaces, allowing students to understand the virtuality with its own constituents will broaden the understanding of space, spatial relations, scale, motion, and time both in physical and virtual. The dichotomy between physical and virtual materiality, the potentials and pitfalls in the process of transformation from real/physical to virtual-virtual to real/physical are discussed in relation with the student projects designed in the scope of Digital Design Studio course in Middle East Technical University. It is also shown that VR stimulates different learning modalities especially kinesthetic modality and helping students to develop creativity and metacognition about space and spatial relations.