Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Architecture research in the virtual reality cave

Architecture associate professor Moji Navvab, who helped plan the Big House renovation so that more noise stays inside the stadium, is doing some interesting work in the North Campus virtual reality cave.

Navvab studies sound and light and how it reaches the eyes and ears under different conditions. In the cave, he's trying to answer questions such as: Why does an interior designer favor one wall color over another? How does blue-tinged LED light affect the eyes of someone reading under it? How would a painting created in natural light look in a gallery at night?

He is quantifying color preferences and measuring how color affects pupil size. In this video, he explains the work and gives a tour of his dummy-head sensor complete with replicas of a human ear.