Immersive technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) has revolutionized most industries. Finance, medical, retail, and automotive industries have all embrace AR and VR in one way or another. Architecture is the latest industry to embrace this exciting innovation to its workflow.

Augmented and Virtual Reality provides an architecture design tool for architects and clients. This innovative tool creates a genuinely collaborative team between architect and client during the conception phase of a project. This technology permits clients to immerse themselves in the layout during the walkthrough stage. A technology that gamers first used for games and entertainment, now fosters improved visualization, collaboration, and workflow.

Enhanced Visualization

Architects are visual storytellers; every idea for a building is their story. To communicate their vision, Architects have relied on drawings, 3D models and 2D digital simulations. While these tools inform the potential buyer of the function and the meaning the building can give a person, they do not allow a person to experience the structure’s objective and purpose.

Immersive technology such as VR immerses a person into the building and gains a genuine feeling of its vibe. Virtual reality is an architect design tool that saves architects time and expenses.

VR can act as an exploratory tool. Architects can see defects in floor plans and building designs before breaking ground. Also, they can notice how the environment impacts the structure. Virtual reality can highlight environmental elements can crash against architecture.

A person may walk through the property to get a sense of the interior and exterior of the site. If anything is not conducive to their specifications, the architect can make changes with ease.

Improved Collaboration

Architectural design works better through a collaborative workflow.  Usually, the architect, the design team, and the client make up this workflow network.  AR and VR permit consolidation of these elements.

During the conception stage, stakeholders can enter the structure to change walls, windows, and doors while wearing a headset.

For example, when building a restaurant, architects and designers might not have the best perspective of the daily flow of a kitchen and dining room. Slight details may go unseen by the design team. However, giving the Executive chef a VR headset to walk through the layout, they can explore the kitchen and dining room setup. The Executive chef can see the plan and discover how the kitchen and waitstaff can move through the restaurant. Aspects that seem to hinder the speed and movement of restaurant staff can be changed.

VR allows for multiple perspectives that provide the architect and the design team intelligent insight when designing a space. The result, a building that is functional and instinctual to the folks operating in it.

Engaged Teaching

Besides enhancing the collaboration of the rendering of a building, AR and VR also give students an architect design tool from which to learn. The medical and automotive industries already make use of augmented reality and virtual reality as a teaching a tool with great success; architecture has now joined the fray.

Students can immerse themselves in the architectural process to see how each choice and action delivers big-picture ideas to completion. Apart from that, VR gives students the chance to discover and experience famous architectural structures from home or in a classroom. A simple headset provides them with a 360-degree look at various architectural styles and techniques from all over the world.

Closing the Sale

Usually, selling the vision comes after the architect constructs an elaborate model of the building. When pitching exciting architectural ideas, models fail to relate the emotion and imagination of the concept. VR is an architect design tool that eliminates the need for models. Architects can help plunge the client into their layout. The client can take a tour of the space and interact with the environment. Virtual reality permits the client to get a genuine sense of the emotion and vision of the architect’s idea.

With VR, architects can send a project to the client. The client then can walk through the idea and write feedbacks on the space within the project. This simplified process speeds up client approval and removes many headaches associated with last-minute changes. More important, this streamlined method closes the sale quicker. 

Immersive technology merging with architecture design ignites excitement throughout the industry. Architects have an architect design tool that creates a simpler workflow and improves the presentation of their architectural vision. Students have a tool that enlivens architectural design within them. Clients can go on an adventure every time they plunge into an architect’s design.

This technology is growing, and there is more ground to cover. However, AR and VR manufacturers like Oculus, HTC, and Sony continue to innovate and bring online new hardware and software. Therefore, the future of this technology in architecture is boundless.