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Bimal Balakrishnan, PhD: Enhancing imagination, evaluating experience: Cognitive and affective aspects of 3-D visualization



Envisioning spatial environments is a complex design task, whether it is for architecture, video games, animations or movies. It is even more difficult to predict experiential qualities of a space that exists only in our mind’s eye. Over the last few decades, a variety of 3-d modeling and visualization tools have helped the designer to externalize and evaluate the space under design. However, visualization technology is often treated as a “black-box” limiting our understanding of relative contributions of various technology variables on spatial experience and understanding. Drawing insights from my background in architectural design, media psychology and human-computer interaction, I have taken a variable-centered approach to study the impact of technology features on spatial understanding and experience. My talk will discuss research projects that illustrate this approach, visualization infrastructure developed from these research insights and their impact on curriculum and teaching.


Bimal Balakrishnan is an assistant professor in the Architectural Studies department with the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Missouri. Dr. Balakrishnan has a Ph.D. in Mass Communication with an emphasis in media effects research and an M.S. in Architecture, both from the Pennsylvania State University. He also has professional design experience as a licensed architect in India after obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Kerala.