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Title: 3D information place : architecture for virtual place-making and information navigation
Author: Hsu, P.-H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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Performing activities together in online information environments is not unusual. It is functionally possible for shared information environments to become ‘virtual places’ in which social activities take place. Such environments, however, are traditionally designed based on the concept of digital documents accessed remotely from the outside, rather than on the concept of places. This thesis argues that shared information environments can be designed to allow multi-user navigation to take place inside the space, and suggests they should be designed as places, supporting and reflecting social interaction. A concept called 3D Information Place is proposed. A 3D information place is a 3D navigable virtual environment which provides a socio-spatial organisation of information. Its structures and formal attributes have an impact on users’ information-seeking activities, and they adapt to reflect patterns of such activities. Such a concept is based on the concept of place and the context of digital information environments, and leads to a theoretical framework consisting of four major elements: space, information, social factors and digital mediation. It is a fundamental hypothesis of this thesis that combining the four elements into a coherent system can lead to positive effects not only on users’ navigation experience and social interaction, but also on the performance of information environments for the purpose of information-seeking. In order to develop the four-element theoretical framework, this thesis investigates fields including architecture, information visualisation, virtual environments, and theories of hypothesis. The framework is developed in a few steps. Firstly, fundamental relations between information and space are investigated. Secondly, the concept of place is investigated and re-examined based on the context of 3D information environments, leading to the concept of 3D information place. Thirdly, principles of designing a 3D information place are developed based on an anatomical analysis of 3D virtual environments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available