Readability and sightlines easily visualized with our TUDesc Application

Readability and sightlines are undervalued parameters when designing education spaces. Only rules of thumb are available, no clear definitions, but students must be able to read subject matter anywhere in the classroom. They should be able to fully concentrate on understanding the subject matter and not distracted by unreadable formulas or strained necks. That is why readability has become an important issue.

Universities start commissioning third parties to design an education building or to transform lecture halls and classrooms with clear seat capacity figures, but variables related to readability remained a bit vague. What ceiling height, or rather clear height, is needed for proper readability at the last row, at what distance should the first row start, at what height should the screen be positioned, and how large should it be for the presented subject matter?

These questions has made us writing the Cookbook Education Spaces, which has its version 2.0 to date. The cookbook shows specifications in tables with a limited number of possibilities, but inter- and extrapolating the figures seems hard when one wants to grasp readability for education spaces. So, we took the cookbook a step further, we have been making readability visible and tangible with our TU Delft education space configurator TUDesc. Try it at tudesc.com.

TUDesc will be released under license. Currently you are able to play around during a trial period, but you have to register. The Quickbuilder helps you with roughly setting up your first education space. Choose typology, screen, board, paths and there you go. Enter Space Name, Number and Building, and fit the dimensions to your situation … then Save As your first education space.

Now, it becomes fascinating. Change parameters (e.g., Screen Size, Floor-to-Underside, Distance First Row, etc.) to obtain a proper vertical angle at the first row and correct Readability at the last. Henceforth you may fine-tune furniture, paths, desk, doors, etc. Do not forget to save your space.

We are proud with the application as is, but of course your feedback and future use shall make us happy. The TUDesc team.

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