Virtual Reality Elevating the Design Process in Architecture
"Imagine this—You walk into an apartment. There’s a cheese platter on the counter, a blanket tossed on the couch and a view of the backyard. You walk around the kitchen and say “I wish the island was three feet to the right.”
It moves instantly.
“Anything else you want to change?” says your architect as you take off your virtual reality (VR) headset.
This is the future of virtual reality and its ability to elevate the design process. M+A has the ability to give 3D experience walkthroughs of our client's potential space allowing for faster push and pull innovation without the risk of uncertainty with the design.
At the forefront of innovation, this new technology redefines communication between designers and clients.
Contrary to popular belief, technology in the modern world does not strip away communication but if used properly, enhances it. VR epitomizes this, demonstrating itself as a communication mechanism for optimal efficiency.
With VR, clients can see their space before it is even built, making it easier for designers to understand to their wants and needs through visual confirmation. “When they see the future and the possibility, it inspires an interest in engagement,” Doug Clay, image design developer of the VR technology explained.
Utilizing this technology allows designers and clients to take risks together and push design boundaries by taking concepts clients can’t imagine and letting them experience it firsthand. What was once a figment of the imagination can now be conceptualized into a reality - virtually.
“In the end, this will allow architecture to be pushed further and further. People will experience spaces that don't exist today and they'll want that to be a reality,” says James Weingard, IT developer behind the VR system for M+A.
Big changes can induce fear, but with virtual manipulations, clients can try something riskier and know right away if it feels fit without paying building or modeling costs. This fact alones allows the experience to be more solution oriented and cost effective, as well as manages expectations throughout the entire design process.
Making Changes while Saving Costs
Clients can make changes, saving costs and creating efficiencies through the design process.
If they experience something that they don’t like, the designer can make the change prior to ordering materials.
This is a huge advantage for the field of design visualization and really elevates the innovation process, while simultaneously shortening project time. Quick changes move the design process along faster, while pretested rooms move construction and interiors along more quickly than ever before.
In the years to come, M+A hopes to start using this with every client and have each room be to scale in VR. Our client can walk around, make instantaneous changes and plug in new elements. Our VR capabilities have the potential to incorporate 3D models from vendors of kitchen cabinets, furniture or lightings to shop a wide range of design products.
These programs help our clients move towards a solution that’s personal for them. It relays the atmosphere of a room instead just a blueprint. For us at M+A, it moves us farther along in smart design. If a picture paints a thousand words, how many words can you get from a 3D space?