KPU Design instructor receives funding for virtual reality and 3D tech-focused course

Bayntun’s course will feature virtual reality, 3D printing and 3D scanning

Screenshot of the Masterpiece VR program. (Submitted)
Jessica Bayntun, KPU Faculty at the Wilson School of Design, and recipient of the Teaching & Learning Innovation Fund. (submitted)

KPU Wilson School of Design instructor Jessica Bayntun has received a financial award from KPU Teaching and Learning, meant to help Bayntun blend virtual reality into her special topics summer course called “3D futures.”

This is a fashion program course, and Bayntun says it looks into “designed futures” and “how technology is integrated in production, and how it can be a tool and a hindrance.”

Bayntun says students will be looking at using 3D scanning, 3D printing and virtual reality in their work. Students will be able to practice with the provided technology, and they will be producing a project at the end of the semester, which will be showcased.

The 3D VR fashion project funding will help provide new technologies for Bayntun’s course, and she says every program in the Wilson School of Design will benefit from it.

“My intention of going for this application was to see where opportunities were across all areas,” Bayntun says.

For this course, Bayntun’s students will be using virtual reality fashion headsets that will allow them to move into different rooms on campus that have projectors.

Other programs can also use the technology to create a virtual reality.

“There could be collaboration in the future where maybe some of the interior design students create a space, the graphic design students create other digital elements, and it could be fashion models that are sort of walking down the runway,” Bayntun says.

“We have a lot of … crossover in all of the different areas of design that a software or a piece of hardware like this could benefit,” she adds.

Bayntun says she designed the course the way it is to make it appealing. She wants all programs to benefit from VR technology.

“If someone in product design wanted to take it, there’s a lot of crossover with what they’re learning in product design and how that might pertain to any soft apparel goods that they might be looking at,” she says. “It’s sort of a tool that will help the whole school.”

The course will also offer students the chance to try drawing in 3D using virtual reality tools.

Bayntun has been teaching at KPU for 10 years, and she graduated from Emily Carr’s Master of Design program in 2019. She started in the fashion program, and she currently teaches in the technical apparel program.

She says one of the reasons for her interest in 3D and fashion is because, during her research for her master’s program, she always wanted to draw everything and “show some of [her] design concepts digitally first,” so she learned how to 3D scan objects.

Bayntun adds that if her application for the VR Fashion Project funding was not approved, she would still make virtual reality a part of her course.

Since this is a special topics course, and may be the only time the topic is offered since special topics courses change every year.

The course will begin in May and will be a mix of remote and on-campus learning. Students will tune into the course every Tuesday, and they will also come on campus individually to use the equipment.