This dedicated VR station, the first of its kind at FIT dedicated to a specific purpose, provides students with an immersive experience in the design process previously unavailable in 2D and 3D design software. Students utilizing the IDML are able to walk through architectural designs, for instance, to experience them from a more realistic perspective. This departure from the theoretical allows students to see their ideas in a new light and from new angles, and has aided students in improving their designs across the board. Furthermore, seeing objects, patterns, and spaces in a virtual environment makes any mistakes, issues, or design flaws much more apparent than with traditional design techniques.
The IDML radically transforms how interior design students work, learn, and experience architecture and patterns. The physical materials that students can take with them to borrow or study combined with the VR terminal give students a new perspective and add to the list of resources and workspaces the library has on offer on the sixth floor. The virtual environment, created in and running on the Rhino software program, gives students the freedom to experience and modify aspects of their work they would not be able to see in 2D, offering a fresh perspective in a sensory-rich display. Students testing out the VR environment have noted the tremendous impact these tools have had on their design and process.
At launch, the IDML has one virtual reality unit available for FIT students. The lab is also accepting donations of materials for their materials collection, with guidelines available from the Interior Design Department. With time, the Interior Design Department and Faculty Research Space (FRS) team hope to expand the resources available in the lab, and expand its scope of use.