Virtual Environments

Subject ENVS10008 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours: 1x1 hour of lectures; 1x2 hours of seminars.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: An interest in architecture/art and creative practice is desired. Previous drawing, modeling and graphic presentation experience is helpful but not required.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to class activities. Students who feel their disability will affect their meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Stanislav Roudavski


Subject Overview: To plan or design requires the imagining of worlds yet to exist. Drawings and models undertaken with analogue or digital media operate as virtual environments that articulate proposals for environmental change in the physical world. An understanding of how media shape real environments is the aim of this intensive foundation year subject. A series of lectures will introduce students to the range of spatial media and techniques used to develop design concepts and planning strategies. The emphasis will be on developing knowledge of the critical relationship between media and outcomes, and how tools and techniques encourage or constrain possibilities. Concluding each lecture, students will be introduced to self teaching modules that will enable experimentation with media and techniques typically used in design and planning.

In this subject students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the design, reasoning, and application of spatial and analog representations of physical models.
  • Develop an historical awareness of pictorial traditions and symbolic representations in both 2D and 3D
  • Understand object-centred representations from aerial, topographic, planar and volumetric perspectives
  • Understand process-centred representations through digital, distributed/networked, time-based, quantitative, and kinetic/performative/responsive applications
  • Develop ways of reading and interpreting such representations with a cultural and critica lens.
Assessment: Course work consisting of: analogue/digital drawing and modeling 40% (assessed weekly); critical review of lectures 1000 words in total 20% (assessed weekly); final project using mixed media 40% (due in the end-of-semester examination period).
Prescribed Texts: Virtual Environments Starter Kit (Purchase from the University bookshop during Orientation Week)
Recommended Texts: In addition to the above, the following items are highly recommended for successful completion of the subject:
  • An authorised copy of Rhino 4.0 for Windows installed. Purchase from the FabLab, G21, ground floor Architecture Building during Orientation Week. The price is $100 and will be deducted from your unicard. If you are using a Mac computer you must run Rhino 4.0 for Windows using Bootcamp. Rhino OSX WIP is not acceptable software for this class.
  • A computer that meets manufacturers' requirements for required software in the program (laptop recommended) a wheel mouse and a digital camera (SLR recommended).
  • Stable and fast connection to internet.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject students should have the following skills:

  • Developed a familiarity with basic techniques in drawings and model making undertaken with analogue and digital media, as typically used to enable the planning and design of the environment
  • Developed an understanding of how such techniques are related to creative thinking, and ultimately determine physical outcomes in the natural and built environment
  • Developed their capacity for independent critical thought, creative inquiry and self-directed learning
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Environments
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Landscape Architecture
Related Breadth Track(s): Exploring Landscape Architecture
Architectural Design

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