Re-Imagining the Lake Raleigh Woods

During the Fall 2014 semester, NCSU College of Design faculty member Brendan Harmon gave the students in his Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Designers course a real world problem to solve: design a new trail system for the nearby Lake Raleigh Woods.

Looking for a good place for his students to spread out and to work collaboratively and creatively, Harmon turned to the Library. “The library has the best creative collaboration and presentation spaces on campus,” he explained. 

He scheduled two design charrettes (design problem solving sessions) in the Hunt Library’s Creativity Studio, for his three teams of students to work on their designs. With library staff support, the students made full use of the room’s features - the white boards, the blended projectors and collaborative workspace - as they worked on their designs.

Staff members from the Libraries IT department also worked with the students to make sure their final designs would display well on the wraparound screen in the Teaching and Visualization Studio.

At the end of the semester, the students reconvened in the Teaching and Visualization Studio to present and review the final products of their semester’s work. Harmon explained that each of the three teams use the technology in different ways to share their vision for a new Lake Raleigh Woods trail system: “One of the teams used the wraparound display with the blended projector in the typical way (progressing slide by slide along the wall).”

“Another team used the whole wall to visualize the whole landscape with their design… They really used the wraparound screen in a narrative fashion [with] great storytelling,” Harmon marveled.

The final team “used the blended 3d projection to explore Centennial Campus and Lake Raleigh in 3d real-time to great effect. The 3d projection is a really fantastic, transformative tool for visualization.”

Faculty and students from the College of Design, the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and faculty and staff on the Lake Raleigh Woods Advisory Panel attended the final presentations in the in the immersive environment Teaching and Visualization Lab.