Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Virtually Home - An Innovative Methodology for Identifying the Housing Needs of Marganalised Communities

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posted on 2021-12-08, 00:49 authored by Musson, Marcus

Home is an experience universally sought after. It is a desire somehow and somewhere built into us as humans. Yet for marginalised groups understanding what makes ‘home’ is made difficult by various technical and cost barriers.  This thesis proposes an innovative methodology – using immersive virtual reality technology coupled with 3D scanning processes, to facilitate an understanding of the meaning of home for both designers an marginalised groups. Several characteristics of virtual reality are explored through a review of literature to identify the potential application of this technology as an alternative method of spatial inhabitation.  Concurrently, research exploring the meaning of home and existing qualitative methodologies are analysed to establish a methodological framework for use in the current work. A pilot study applying the proposed methodology, attempts to identify the potential of immersive virtual reality, as a tool to identify what makes home for participants in the context of their own homes. As such the data generated using this methodology informs a design solution applying the qualities of home identified. The methodology proposed enables a process for identifying how the intangible nature of home is expressed within the design of housing. As such it becomes possible for both architects and their clients to ‘see’ what makes home.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Potangaroa, Regan