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Architectural Linked Immersive Environment (ALIVE)

The CAVE™ at SARA and at EVL / UIC were initially interconnected to investigate visualization techniques at SC’98, where an architectural walk-through application was demonstrated. In architectural design, the lighting of a room can be simulated accurately by radiosity calculations, which are computationally intensive. If a design is reviewed in VR, the images must be generated in real-time, and lighting conditions are simulated with an empirical shading model. Architects, however, find this simulation inadequate.

At SC’98, researchers showed an architectural walk through in which lighting conditions were computed with a parallel radiosity simulation running on a remote computer. When lighting conditions were changed (e.g., switching lights on or off, changing colors) the simulation computed new room shading and sent the data to a VR-display over a high-speed network. Within seconds, a new lighting of the room could be evaluated.

In 1999, Amsterdam architect Rem Koolhaas used SARA’s CAVE and the collaborative software Saranav to visualize and review his 1998 award-winning design of the new Campus Center at Illinois Institute of Technology’s historic Mies van der Rohe campus. Collaborative Saranav was built in cooperation with the Electronic Visualization Laboratory.


Ed Breeveld
Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam (SARA)
The Netherlands

Jason Leigh
Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) University of Illinois at Chicago


Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam (SARA)
The Netherlands

University of Illinois at Chicago

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