Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Faculty Publications

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture


Wichmann Verlag im VDE Verlag GmbH

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The human brain is wired for spatial thinking (GERSMEHL & GERSMEHL 2007), and research has demonstrated that spatial visualization abilities can be improved through education (SORBY & BAARTMANS 2000). This paper describes the uses of cutting edge technology and games to grow spatial thinking, improve spatial design, and solidify landscape planning concepts within the classroom. Specifically, this paper discusses how SimCity 2013, ESRI CityEngine and the Oculus Rift were embedded within a graduate level landscape planning course to see if it improved students understanding of spatial concepts and interest in using related new technologies. While the paper provides a narrative of the experience, some interesting results from student evaluations were discovered. Primarily, that they thoroughly enjoyed using SimCity, that CityEngine was not quite as fun, but that students wanted to spend more time using the technology.


Brent Chamberlain was at Kansas State University during the time of this research.