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Learning in virtual reality

The use of VR in education facilitates the development of creativity and spatial imagination, as well as remote work in an international team. The team of PW employees has decided to use a wide range of VR applications in teaching, creating the GeoSpatial Virtual Reality & Planning AR Laboratory.

Students during the “Shaping Public Space” class

Students during the “Shaping Public Space” class

Fifteen pairs of VR goggles and one VR camera have been bought as part of the grant obtained under the IDUB programme. Students of fields of study offered at the Faculties of Geodesy and Cartography, and Architecture can use the equipment.

“The project includes five pilot implementations in teaching,” says Katarzyna Rędzińska, DSc, head of the project. “We are after the first two implementations, but we are implementing additional ideas, not anticipated earlier,” she adds.

During the winter semester, as part of classes taught by Agnieszka Wendland, DSc, spatial economy students developed a complex revitalization project including local conditions. In its final stage, the project was modified utilising VR techniques. During the project implementation, PW students collaborated with students of landscape architecture from the American University in Beirut (AUB).

View from the virtual room during the presentation of a 3D model

View from the virtual room during the presentation of a 3D model

Learning through games and experiments

As part of the courses “Mobile Cartography” and “Cartographic 3D Models” taught by Dr hab. Dariusz Gotlib, associate professor, students will be testing in virtual reality the cartographic models devised as part of project classes. The whole thing involves the creation of a game.

The course “Landscape Planning” taught by Dr hab. Adrianna Czarnecka, associate professor, will in turn involve using a VR camera which allows students to participate in a virtual trip to real space transferred to virtual reality. Such a solution facilitates a field visit without venturing outside. “In the future, we want to use the recording from a VR camera to collaborate with AUB so that we can see the same real space,” says Dr Rędzińska.

The purchase of VR goggles has also created new, previously unexpected opportunities. In the course “Shaping Public Space” I proposed the use of virtual reality for interested students to experience how a blind person perceives space. I wasn’t planning it when I applied for the grant, but I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for expanding students’ knowledge, which will help them in design in the future,” says Dr Rędzińska. 

Engineer’s thesis defence in Virtual Reality

The creation of the Laboratory translates into the real world, not only as completed projects. At the beginning of January, two students participating in the “Shaping Public Space” course, presented their diploma thesis utilising Virtual Reality. “During the defence, the Examination Board was wearing VR goggles and physically experienced the space designed by the students.  These were the first defences of this kind at our Faculty,” says Dr Rędzińska, who reviewed one of the theses.



The “GeoSpatial Virtual Reality & Planning AR Laboratory ” project is financed as part of a teacher grant under the "Excellence Initiative – Research University" implemented at the Warsaw University of Technology.

The team implementing the project: Katarzyna Rędzińska, DSc; Professor Krystyna Solarek, DSc, Arch.; Dr hab. Dariusz Gotlib, associate professor; Dr hab. Adrianna Czarnecka, associate professor; Agnieszka Wendland, DSc.