virtual worlds, visualization, interaction, adaptation, complex systems


In collaboration with scientists, engineers, sociologists and designers, we have developed virtual worlds for the visualization and interaction with dynamic systems. This allows participants to interact with three-dimensional structures that constantly change and adapt through time. Participants can use simple building blocks to manipulate three-dimensional structures in real-time, allowing them to interact with systems that constantly change and adapt over time. This paper analyses the source and role of change in dynamic systems using virtual reality; particularly the role of constraints and transformations that can generate real-time adaptations of a virtual system. We propose a new design process that allows participants to collaborate with virtual agents. The goal of this process is to create accurate dynamic three-dimensional systems that can self-adapt under constraints and evolve into new spatial configurations as a result of adaptation. The collaboration between participants and virtual agents offers new perspectives on user interaction, dynamic three-dimensional manipulations and about the evolution of a virtual architecture inside a virtual world.


Architecture | Essays & Viewpoint

Adaptation in virtual worlds

pp. 144-155


Jean-Marc Gauthier

Author(s) Biography

Jean-Marc Gauthier is an Associate Professor at Virtual Technology and Design, College of Art and Architecture, University of Idaho (USA). He is involved with research on visualisation and interaction design in virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality. He currently designs fully interactive virtual proteins. His projects include mobility and entertainment in VR and human-machine interface design. He tinkers with storytelling utilizing VR, 3D photogrammetry and artificial intelligence. His background as an architect and animator has taken him in directions that have crossed over many disciplines and fascinating challenges – going as far back as teaming up with a brain surgeon for interactive visualisation, his work on the visualisation of the genotypes of the world’s bird species or recreating in VR – wildlife environments of the Pacific Northwest. He is principal and founder of


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