Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Construction

First Advisor

Desmond Fletcher, M.A.

Advisor Department

Construction

Abstract

As a future building design professional, a student’s ability to mentally “picture” second and third dimensional concepts is important. Learning the fundamentals of mental visualization is tantamount to laying the foundation for a building. Sketching, one of the skills required to bring a building concept to life, helps the student rapidly record their first brilliant thought. Though modern CAD software has the capability to auto-develop a three-dimensional structure, the user constructs a two-dimensional floor plan first, so the program output is based on the user’s initial input. Therefore, the quality of the three-dimensional design is linked to the student’s ability to visualize the final product prior to development. The purpose of this study is to assess the visualization skills of School of Construction students at the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as concept development instruction by SoC faculty. The researcher was interested in the question: are fundamental visualization skills adequately exercised as students advance in their educational career, allowing them to recall the valuable skills? The researcher developed tools to assess student skills and faculty instruction, and uncover correlations between current educational levels and visualization fundamentals. Data collected from the faculty survey were interpreted as professional advice in architectural and architectural-related fields. Ultimately, data obtained through the student tests showed that students in all educational levels had similar visualization capabilities and exposed the importance of exercising fundamental skills to avoid diminishing the accuracy of the two-dimensional and three-dimensional drawings.

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