Virtual Reality (VR) has increasingly been gaining media attention and the interest of the Architecture world in the last years. Technology is changing the world we live in, and it is also changing how we design and draw our buildings. The transition from paper to digital was an enormous leap forward and it is an ongoing process, passing from 2D to 3D. But, spaces are not only designed to tell a functional story that only serves a specific purpose but also to inspire, and here are some of the most interesting ways virtual reality can do that.
VR is the end of that common client complaint about "I'm just not seeing it". It is the first medium to create a complete comprehension between architects vision and client perception, particularly because the architects and designers are able to start designing spaces with a newfound three-dimensional spatial awareness that cannot be experienced through creating 2D floor plans, elevations, or renderings. In these ways, VR will speed up client approvals and help minimize late-stage changes, getting architects to ROI faster.
2. Better understanding of the space
For some it is hard to visualize how all of the spaces will fit together by only seeing 2D floor plans. Even 3D renderings can present challenges in understanding the space. Virtual reality goes beyond interactivity to help clients fully envision the space and provides them with a more accurate representation of how it will function in real life. The big benefit of this is that the client can now provide useful feedback based on an actual understanding of the design. Besides, architects can also use VR to simulate real-world scenarios, like testing evacuation possibilities, from seeing how intuitive are the evacuation routes within the building, to how long it takes an individual to exit it. This way, they can have a safe and controlled way to receive feedback pre-build.
3. Price efficiency
Creating a virtual reality experience can be done quickly and at the fraction of the cost of a showroom. Contrastingly, a VR experience can be incorporated into a basic showroom and allow prospective customers to tour multiple buildings, layouts and locations all in one centralized place (and/or online).
4. Better Marketing Materials
In projects that require a large number of marketing materials such as housing or public investment project, there has never been a better tool than VR to get people excited about your project and set it apart from others like it. With virtual walkthroughs of apartments, a potential tenant can know exactly what that apartment will feel like and how much space it actually has, helping them visualize their perfect setting for their dream home – something that a simple photograph has never had the power to truly convey. With such resources posted online, prospective-buyers, having seen the virtual walkthrough, may not feel a need to come tour a space in person before signing.
5. Optimize how architects work and collaborate
VR literally adds another dimension. It offers an understanding of scale that they haven’t had before. It increases their freedom to conceptualize and iterate ahead of actually having to build something. VR can help them explore more, experiment and push thresholds without the time and costs associated with other methods. Architects are better able to simulate experiments, learn from them and hone in on the right solution faster. Soon, however, with multi-user VR being rapidly developed, VR will do more than just ensure dynamic consumption. If successfully leveraged, multi-user VR will not only allow multiple people from around the world to all enter the same virtual spaces together at the same time, but it will also enable true collaborative design.