Object Design in Virtual Immersive Environments

Object Design in Virtual Immersive Environments

Jan Baum (Towson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0011-9.ch213
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Abstract

The ubiquity of digital technology and the pervasiveness of the Web have led to a paradigm shift in life and work. Never before have so many tools for communication, contribution, and collaboration been so globally interconnected. The Object Design program at Towson University engages the network effect of emergent technologies developing pedagogy to keep pace with global developments. Students learn 21st century skills as they engage virtual immersive environments as a digital design tool, for iterative prototyping, as a virtual presence augmenting traditional studio practice, to engage new economic platforms, and as a virtual learning environment for global dialogue and collaboration. Steady growth in virtual immersive environments support a burgeoning virtual goods market and further exploration for learning, training, and innovation across social sectors: enterprise, education, and government in the evolution of society.
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Background

The Pervasiveness of Digital Technology

Digital technology has changed our lives and how we work: it is accessible, pervasive, easy to use, and lowers barriers. Digital design technology has also significantly become more accessible and easy to use and has contributed to the dissolution of discipline specific boundaries traditionally drawn along material and dimensional lines and erode individual-centric making. We are in a new era with new tools and new ways of working. There has been a paradigm shift. For most of us, we have been holding the tiger by the tail. First we began to use the web as a primary information source albeit in a static read-only form. Moving to a decentralized dynamic flat web where users generated content through peer production methods, with information flowing in all directions, we began participating in email listservs, blogs, Flickr, and Facebook, contributing information and looking for the most current information in these places. We started aggregating information socially through wikis and sites like Del.ici.ous and networking socially online through Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, and Twitter; and all the while discovering new ways of working, knowing, collaborating, and co-creating, through an ever increasing variety of Web 2.0 tools. These tools come together exponentially with the emergent and dynamic immersive web. Through VIEs we have highly engaging, cost-effective, post-geographic, collaborative ways of working that afford synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. The ubiquity of digital technology have ushered in an era in which social production is king and collaboration is key.

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