Italy Study Abroad

Historical Architectural Virtual Prototyping

In 2019, together with the British School of Orvieto and with Prof. Raj Shea, I designed a summer study abroad program for the Cal State student body, where innovative technology is applied in historical architectural contexts to support engineering and architectural education through the interaction with technology. The goal of this summer program is for students to learn how to design and develop interactive virtual prototypes of historical architectural buildings and structures with innovative technology, to improve the historical preservation of such structures and enhance community understanding of historical architecture.

To meet these goals the students got to use virtual prototyping methods on architectural and civil engineering projects; analyze current research and applications in virtual reality, virtual worlds, interactive workspaces, game engines, and augmented reality as they apply to the built environment; design virtual/augmented reality prototypes using design authoring software, virtual reality technology and software; and create plans for the wide implementation and marketing of the prototype.

The program is hosted in the beautiful city of Orvieto in the region of Umbria, Italy. Orvieto is a city with significant cultural heritage, fascinating traditions and an exciting life-style. The city hosts world famous “wonders”: the tufa outcrop, the Duomo and the Saint Patrick’s Well and the whole ancient town center filled with narrow streets, beautiful churches, historic palace and the suggestive underground life: a maze of tunnels and caves. The city is also perfectly located in relationship to other cities such as Rome (1 hr by train) and Florence (2 hrs by train).