Art and Design Students’ Approaches to Technology: Mixed Reality Practices in Higher Education


European Educational Research Association ECER 2019 Conference, Hamburg, Germany, 2 - 06 September 2019

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Hamburg
  • Country: Germany
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


16 SES 13 A, ICT and Learning Environments

Paper Session

VMP 5 - Room 2105
Ed Smeets


In art and design education, it is important to use the time and materials efficiently for reproduction, variation, and duplication of drawings and objects performed by traditional methods. Currently, the ICT, specifically computer-aided design applications used in the design processes are constantly developing dynamic improvements in order to enrich these processes. ICT can extend the possibilities of artistic expression, communication and perception allow students to focus more on the creation, thus enhancing self-expression (Wood, 2004). Computer-aided design applications, especially those in the fields of product design, architecture, art and design, are an important regressor of these applications, so the designers can propose new designs. Rutland (2009) claims that technology ‘blurring the boundaries’ between art and design, Garland and Noyes (2005) found that confidence correlates positively with computer attitude. In this context, mixed-reality applications have emerged and this technology has increased the effectiveness of the studies by adding a new dimension to the previous applications. Mixed reality applications provide the possibility of studying reality by reflecting virtual objects on the existing physical objects in the real world and by logically increasing the perception of the design process, and the development potentials are the subject of this work.

Traditional educational habits consist of long and wide-based accumulation and experience, important data formed according to various cultures, manners, and needs. For this reason, it is very important to meet new perspectives and new technologies, and it should not be ignored in the sense of defining the invariants. In areas where creativity is the subject, it is an important requirement that people have a certain level of handcraft skill and knowledge. However, the technological sub-structures to be harmonized within the fields of art and design can contribute to the existing education process and can help to make up for the missing. Mixed Reality is in harmony with human's unchanging sense of reality and basic reflexes among all the digital design applications developed so far. For this reason, projects of working with different disciplines, establishing interactions and establishing business associations are an important opportunity offered by this technology.

In the current education system, time and material are important factors for the reproduction, modification, and reproduction of drawings and objects produced by traditional methods. It can save time and material usage by reflecting computer graphics on existing concrete objects using Mixed Reality applications. Another problem is that existing art and design training may fail to provide adequate support to students who need to be raised as creative individuals. As a solution to these two main problems, a new workshop space has been proposed and a method of training where both traditional and technological tools can be used together is proposed.

The aim of this study is to give a new perspective to today's education system, will be examined through alternative approaches that are planned to be realized during art and design areas, creative process and education of these fields. The effects of mixed reality applications, which are tried to be integrated into the education of art and design, will be the subject of this study. In this context, we aimed to understand whether there is a difference in the approach of using technology between the fields of design and art. The main reason for this research question is that during the undergraduate education, design students use computer-aided design applications more and art students get a more traditional education. Data were collected by literature review, questionnaire, observation, video shooting and workshops, and analyzed using statistical methods.


The mixed reality headset used in this study is HoloLens, which Microsoft has developed to offer environment and motion scanning technologies in a wearable way. HoloLens scans the user's physical environment and enriches it with virtual-holographic elements. HoloLens does not need cables for power or data transfer to a personal computer. Kalantari and Rauschnabel (2018) tested usefulness, ease of use, and image of HoloLens, the results of this study show that perceived usefulness, image, ease of use, and descriptive norms are positive. A preliminary study was carried out at Hacettepe University and TOBB ETU in order to test the data collection method. The subjects are art and design students from Ceramics, Sculpture, Interior Design and Industrial Design departments. In order to support creative thinking, individuals' relations with materials and methods they have tried to reach the result have been observed. In the light of the preliminary data, a second study was carried out in the process. In the workshops conducted at the designated universities, a similar application of the preliminary study was carried out. The space used during this study was designed on a white background for the purpose of providing proper screening and data of the HoloLens application. Each participant was given a working time of 10 minutes. With the help of modules consisting of basic geometric shapes and produced from wooden materials, the process of attention of two dimensions in the traditional process and the process of interest of individuals, this time with the help of technology, perception of the three dimensions and the difference of interest of the individuals were observed. This process was carried out with the Microsoft Hololens technology and with the help of the HoloBlocks application. Individuals in the second stage of the application, taking advantage of the various geometric shapes in the application, with the shapes completely virtual environment, to create a simple structure. In the last stage; virtual geometric elements, mixing real environment elements to simplify a similar simple structure. It has been thought that the process of interest and development of individuals, their creation processes, support of a different environment and technological material can be tried in this way and the result can be reached in this way.

Expected Outcomes

According to the results of the analysis made in order to understand the difference of interest between the fields of art and design, design students are more interested in using technology than art students. The findings demonstrate that design students have been using computer-aided design applications for a long time and are more open to using new technologies than art students. It should be pointed out that, as ICT and CAD changes fast and experiences of instructors and art education may transform with it (Garland and Noyes, 2008). Mixed reality applications the approach of art students and instructors to the use of technology. Design students think that they better express their selves when using ICT, on the other hand, art students prefer traditional methods. Design students thought that computer applications enabled me to create better, while art students preferred traditional methods to express their creativity. We can see and perceive the final design in the mind of the student in two dimensions only with sketches, drawings or digital drawings, or in three dimensions with models. However, we do not have the possibility to see the structure that we foresee to occur with the effect of volume in our world of reality, with its designed size, color or texture, to handle the design in this form and to work on it again. Therefore, for students who are expected to experience a number of mental performances such as design creation, variation development, reading probabilities, and problem-solving, these processes may remain within the limits of time, physical performance and perception offered by drawings and models. It is an area that has not yet been studied how mixed reality applications can offer these disadvantages. The blended reality environment increases the perception of users and enhances intuitive interaction with the real world.


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