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Lunch and Learn: Virtual Reality at DDC

On Tuesday July 28, Lucy Wong, an Executive Director in the Public Buildings Division presented to students across New York City during the STEAM Virtual Lunch and Learn Series. Lunch and Learn is a one hour interactive presentation by DDC professionals speaking about their current role, career path and education. Ms. Wong provided an introduction to Virtual and Augmented reality and explained how these cutting edge tools are used in the construction industry. She also spoke about her educational and career journey.

“Virtual Reality is the future where Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries will save millions of dollars by creating a virtual environment to test and experiment prior to construction,” said Ms. Wong, Executive Director of the Human Services/Universal Pre-K/Administrative Children’s Services program units in the Public Buildings Division.

“Our students learned about the critical role virtual reality plays in construction. It is important that students gain exposure to this state of the art technology,” stated Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives, Lee Llambelis.

Virtual reality in the construction industry is helping end users easily understand the design of soon to be built facilities. It allows stakeholders to see potential problems before structures are built. In October 2017, DDC STEAM developed a Virtual Reality pilot program for our summer interns.

building a community center

What components go into building a community center?

artist rendering of 40th police precinct

Artist rendering of the 40th Police Precinct

Ms. Wong’s work also includes the 40th Police Precinct, where she helped to design a community center on the first floor. She explained the benefits of creating a community center that is inviting and that uses artwork and naturally lit windows to give the space a more welcoming feel. The building is ADA accessible and has an entrance that allows everyone to access the building.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

Ms. Wong manages technical and staffing needs, as well as scope, schedule and budget for the Human Services/Universal Pre-K/Administrative Children’s Services program unit’s unique portfolios. Her work at the Agency also has included design and construction of cultural institutions, NYPD facilities, and NYCHA apartment repairs. Ms. Wong is currently leading the COVID-19 Specimen Collection testing sites. She has over 19 years of experience in the architectural and construction industry. Lucy has a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her BFA from the Parsons School of Design.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit