Imagination and picturization have been the jargon for architecture since ancient history. Eminent architects who pioneered new ways of building design in their eras picturized and brought their perspectives to reality through sketches and drafted plans and elevations. Had Corbusier known he would be able to see Chandigarh as he imagined before it was built through a set of goggles at that time, he would have been boggled by just the thought of it. 

Firstly, what is Virtual Reality?

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Virtual reality_©Micke Tong/ autodesk.com

It is taken for the fact that most architects and even ordinary men are aware of the role of virtual reality in architecture. Virtual Reality is nothing but an excellent technology invented by humankind to enable us to witness what we imagine. It replicates a 3D image or setting that you can interact with by using suitable electronic devices, such as special goggles; you can experience virtual reality as if it were physical reality.

Not more than a decade ago, people could see virtual reality take shape in famous sci-fi movies. Who would have thought in such a short period it would take over all the possible fields? Virtual Reality is one of the fastest-growing technologies, and architects are loving how their imaginations come to life before actually being built.

Virtual Reality and Architecture 

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Virtual Reality and architecture_©Patrick Schneider/ unsplash.com

For the past few years, virtual reality has been in the talks persistently. With people inventing newer technologies and presentation methods, Virtual reality has now set its foundation on the grounds of architectural business. Nowadays, a maximum number of architectural offices have started using BIM software like Revit, Vectorworks, Archicad, etc. 

A decade ago, client presentations were just about plans, sections, and elevations. While today, architects have transformed the meaning of presentations with the help of this software. The veterans say it may hamper creativity, but the technology has taken architectural innovations to new heights.

The Present: Setting up New Trends

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Virtual Reality visualization_©Micke Tong/ autodesk.com

Today virtual reality has made the design explanation, which used to be a task for the designers, uncomplicated and convenient. People can walk in and feel their homes before they are built. Having a clear picture of the space a client can visualize, or experience makes an architect’s job a lot easier, cutting down the possibility of revisions and inaccuracies on site. It is just the beginning where architects present the renders and walkthroughs; in no time, they will experience portfolios and resumes in virtual reality. Oh! The trend has already begun!

People say that the advancements in technology reduce employment. While that stands untrue as far as virtual reality and architecture are concerned. With the invention of new design methods in architecture, new jobs for architects have come up based on 3D modelling or rendering or mathematical computing. Companies are being set up hiring people with expertise in particular software.

Digital Spaces: The Future

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Virtual Reality and future_©urbanhub.com

Virtual Reality has taken up the industry and is here to stay. VR is not only the future of architecture, but with the change in scenarios due to the pandemic, it is also the future of material, real estate, and planning industries. On the one hand, by incorporating a bit of augmented reality with VR, planners can visualize the city model and plan the changes for the cities while roaming around with a set of glasses. Real estate dealers, on the other hand, can show properties to their clients via virtual reality from any part of the world. 

Today, people are using virtual reality for designing a building, but with the shift in paradigms after the pandemic, there could be virtual spaces for work and other public interactions. Museums, for example, the Louvre, the National Museum of Finland, The National Museum of Natural History in Paris, or the Tate Museum in London, have already started using virtual reality to display art and narrate the story. 

Furthermore, with these rapid technological expansions, you never know that architects would be designing virtual offices for corporate meetings using virtual reality in this decade! The pandemic has impacted people’s psychology. The no-touch, socially distant outlook ingrained in the buyers’ minds can open a room of opportunities for digital marketspaces to use virtual reality for consumer display!

Digital space is growing and advancing rapidly, and with virtual reality widely being accepted and used, there are a plethora of opportunities for architects to explore the virtual world. Virtual reality has aided an architect’s most potent weapon, the art of visualization. With these tools of 3D modelling and VR, architects are now doing wonders in terms of design and are using these technologies to their advantage. Virtual reality has transformed the industry in ways no one would have imagined a decade ago. Bringing these technological advances into practice and moving ahead with time is what architects should do because technology is making the world move ahead of time, and should you!

References

URBAN HUB. (n.d.). Virtual reality (VR) and the future of immersive architectural design. [online] Available at: https://www.urban-hub.com/technology/vr-the-future-of-immersive-architectural-design/.

Born to Engineer. (2021). The Future of Architecture Is in Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). [online] Available at: https://www.borntoengineer.com/the-future-of-architecture-is-in-virtual-vr-and-augmented-reality-ar [Accessed 8 Aug. 2021].

Switzerland Innovation. (n.d.). Virtual Reality: the future is in high quality content. [online] Available at: https://www.parkinnovaare.ch/virtual-reality-the-future-is-in-high-quality-content [Accessed 6 Aug. 2021].

Author

Aditi is a creative soul and a firm believer in procedural learning. She looks towards building a sustainable milieu by linking the built environment to the roots of India’s culture. She is an ardent reader and holds a keen interest in art, architecture and aesthetics.

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