Empathy in Point Clouds: Spatial Analysis and Storytelling through Immersive Technologies [EIPC] coordinates an interdisciplinary research program that integrates LiDAR [Light Detection and Ranging] 3D point-cloud data captured from buildings, urban environments, and landscapes that are animated through the gaming platform and advanced 3D creation tool, Unreal Engine [UE], to develop empathic, inclusive spatial narratives through immersive interfaces.

EIPC develops, tests, and refines project-based workflows of data integration using LiDAR point clouds, ground and aerial-based photogrammetry. The EIPC project is incorporates point clouds and Unreal Engine within design-research that closes the accessibility gap between digital content creation, spatial justice, and world-making impact. The EIPC project leverages the interplay between physical and virtual sites through empathetic narratives and immersive experiences that animate architecture, urban environments, and the spatial imaginary.

EIPC is primarily looking for students with game development background, basic coding skills (Python, C++) and some familiarity with Unreal Engine. Students who are familiar with the practice of navigating through searches to learn programs, workflows, and problem solve for data transformation and data integration are welcome to apply!

Skills: Surveying techniques, photography, videography, familiar with any of the following HTML, Blender, ReCap Pro, Revit, Adobe CC, Rhino, Unreal Engine, Reality Capture

Interest in 3D laser terrestrial and aerial laser scanning, Aerial laser scanning, photogrammetry, data integration workflows, website construction, building a database, interest in data management, and video editing and production.

Students apply to a specific role on the team as follows:

Photogrammetry & LiDAR Specialists (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: ArcGIS, photography or photogrammetry, willingness to learn to use the 3D terrestrial scanner and associated software.

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CE, CEE, CS, ROB, SE, SEAS

VR Programmer, Game Developer (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: UE5, C++, Python, Blender

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CE, CS, ROB

Videographer (1 Student)

Preferred Skills: Videography, filmmaking (storyboarding)

Likely Majors/Minors: ARTDES, FTVM

Website & Database Construction (1 Student)

Preferred Skills: HTML, data management

Likely Majors/Minors: CS, SI, DS

Faculty Project Lead

Dawn Gilpin headshotDawn Gilpin is Lecturer IV in Architecture at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning where she teaches design studio with a focus on methods of visualizing design ideas and spatial narratives through immersive technologies. Gilpin teaches a course 3D terrestrial laser scanning certification with an introduction to photogrammetry and Unreal Engine. Supported by a corporate partnership with FARO Technologies, she is director of the [EIPC] Scan Lab in collaboration with Robert Adams, Associate Professor in Architecture.

Empathy in Point-Clouds [EIPC] coordinates an interdisciplinary research program that integrates LiDAR [Light Detection and Ranging] 3D point-cloud data captured from buildings, urban environments, and landscapes that are animated through the gaming platform and advanced 3D creation tool, Unreal Engine [UE], developing empathic, inclusive spatial narratives through immersive interfaces that expand the communicative structures of architecture.

Since 2020, she has led the UARTS FEAST [Faculty Engineering/Arts Students Teams]: Empathy in Point Clouds: Design Ideas and Storytelling through Immersive Technologies, a multi-disciplinary research team that develops and refines methods and workflows specific to data collection and integration of immersive technologies.

Gilpin received her M. Arch from Southern California Institute of Architecture, working in firms in Los Angeles, New York City, and Minneapolis. Gilpin’s 2016 Wallenberg Studio, “The Radical and The Preposterous: Mind the Gap”, won one of six ARCHITECT Studio Prizes, a national award recognizing exceptional design projects in architectural education. Gilpin is honored to be a multiple-year recipient of the Donna Salzer Award for Teaching Excellence.

Students: 6

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, ARTDES, CE, CS, FTVM, MSE, ROB, SI, THTREMUS

Meeting Details: TBD

Application: This project requires applicants to include link(s) to your portfolio, work samples, or other website(s) in the personal statement portion of your application to share work you would like considered as part of your submission.

Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP/NDA: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation.

Course Substitutions: CoE Honors