For his master’s thesis, “Speaking of Reality: Creating an immersive experience for landscape architectural design presentation using the latest technologies in the field of game design,” Jeon created a revolutionary new way to communicate with clients: an immersive VR experience representing his design for an urban park in San Francisco. With this approach, instead of simply showing clients 2D images, Jeon invites them to don an Oculus Rift headset and experience the space as it might look in real life.
Jeon explains that the immersive effect not only gives the client a more realistic view of the space, but allows for quick and easy changes of colors and textures, placement of elements like benches and lampposts, and lets viewers see how plantings will grow over time.
“There is an amazingly real sense of space that you get when you ‘move through’ it with VR,” says Heather Clendenin, director of the School of Landscape Architecture. “You really do feel the presence of overhead structures, and the sense of light and shadows is phenomenal.”
Jeon believes this user-centered presentation tool will become a cornerstone to improve communication throughout the design process, ultimately resulting in greater satisfaction for both clients and designers. For Jeon, the project also led to a job offer. After graduating and showing his project at the university's 2016 Spring Show, he began sending out his portfolio and resume to landscape architecture firms. Presenting his thesis during an interview with San Rafael-based VITA Planning & Landscape Architecture, he was offered a job on the spot.
Jeon credits his success to the opportunity he had at the Academy to engage in interdisciplinary study. “This was the reason I chose the Academy: games and architecture,” he says. “It’s very rare to find a school that does both.”