nmc virtual worlds

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Virtual Worlds Case Study:

Yale Mudd Library

Virtual architecture brings hands-on design to campus, saves thousands
This project for Yale University was to recreate the existing Mudd Library in a form that end users could walk around and replan for future use.


  • Reconfigurable building plan through simple clicks.
  • ‘Holodeck’ style rezzing of furniture & interior layouts.
  • Generation of scaled building plans for architects to use.

Purpose: The Mudd Library at Yale University is reaching the end of it’s useful life in its current form, however it was decided that by gutting it and building a new interior it could be repurposed. To promote a participatory design process, it was proposed to create a virtual model that the future occupants could actually plan themselves, allowing for the fact that they had little or no experience in either architectural design or the use of virtual worlds.

In use: The Mudd Library was recreated in Second Life with every attempt made to evoke the real building through realistic texturing and accurate modeling from scale drawings. The architectural expertise of our team was able to determine the extent of possible modifications within the modular building construction, and offer these modifications in the form of clickable building elements. The result was that an end user could walk around the building moving, inserting and deleting partitions to define rooms and spaces, could shift vertical circulation & service stacks to new locations, create new windows and openings in the envelope and even populate their spaces with a variety of furniture layouts simply by clicking on the objects around them. Furthermore, by carefully manipulating the Second Life camera controls, it was possible to automate the generation of orthographic plans suitable for use by an architect from any of the solutions developed by the users.