Virtual Architectures began as a student project by CASA MRes student Oliver Dawkins who was interested in exploring the possibilities afforded by virtual reality technologies for the creation of immersive architectural experiences. The site currently serves as research blog and scrapbook for his research into the use of virtual, augmented and mixed reality interfaces as aids for decision making in the context of smart urbanism.

Oliver Dawkins is a PhD candidate at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). Funded by the EPSRC and Ordnance Survey, Oliver’s research investigates the value of integrating dynamic real-time urban data with three-dimensional representations of the built environment in order to support urban decision making and communication. Oliver is currently associated with the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Urban IoT.

Prior to commencing his PhD Oliver obtained a BA in Philosophy, MA in Critical Methodologies and MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation. His first experiments in spatial analysis led to the creation of an automated function to identify and map privately owned public space from open data. Oliver subsequently specialised in the use of 3D modelling tools, game engines, and mixed reality interfaces in order to communicate urban possibilities and concerns.

Oliver’s work has appeared in the London Building Centre, Science Museum and British Museum, and featured on the Guardian website. He has also run workshops introducing young people and students to free-to-use tools like SketchUp and Unity as a means for developing spatial agency. Oliver’s broader research interests include urbanism, critical theory, participatory planning, public space, real-time data, 3D visualisation and mixed reality interfaces.