Patterns of place: an integrated approach for the design and evaluation of real and virtual environments

Michael Smyth, David Benyon (Lead / Corresponding author), Rod McCall (Lead / Corresponding author), Shaleph O'Neill, Fiona Carroll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
301 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter describes an approach to the development of virtual representations of real places. The aim of the project, called BENOGO, was to develop a novel technology based on real-time image-based rendering (IBR) for representing places in virtual environments (VE). The specific focus of the work presented here concerned how to capture the essential features of real places, and how to represent that knowledge, so that the team developing the IBR-based virtual environments could produce an environment that was as realistic as possible. This involved the development and evaluation of a number of virtual environments and the evolution of two complementary techniques; the Place Probe and Patterns of place.
The Place Probe was used to inform the design of future virtual environments through the development of Patterns of Place. Based on the application of the probe a series of patterns were abstracted and categorised into three broad categories: physical properties; affect and meaning; and activities associated with place. The rationale for choosing these categories, along with illustrations of the patterns and how they can be applied are described in Section 4. These categories constitute the sense of presence in a particular place. Technological patterns specific to the IBR approach adopted within the BENOGO project were also developed. Together the technological patterns and the place patterns form the basis of a nascent “Pattern Book” aimed at connecting the case based approach to the measurement of sense of presence to the design of virtual environments.
In order to frame the discussion, Section 2 provides a brief background to presence and place form a human-computer interaction perspective. Section 5 concludes the chapter with a look forward to how the approach may be further developed and generalized.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImmersed in media
Subtitle of host publicationtelepresence theory, measurement & technology
EditorsMatthew Lombard, Frank Biocca, Jonathan Freeman, Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Rachel J. Schaevitz
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319101903
ISBN (Print)9783319101897
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Image-based rendering
  • Virtual environments
  • Place probe
  • Patterns of place


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