‘Virtual Reality’ is something that does not exist but gives the user experience of its existence with the use of computer technology by creating a simulated environment. It gives the user a sense that they truly exist in the scenario and it then becomes a fight of mind over matter.
With the subsequent advancements in VR technology, this computer simulation has begun to be used by firms across the globe and has been identified to be one of the most effective emerging technologies globally. Virtual Reality is capable of evoking a visceral response similar to that of physically existing architecture in any space.
Virtual Reality can be used in each phase and process of design development-
- Evaluating design options
- Showcasing proposals
- Tracing out errors in terms of scale etc.
- Ironing out construction and serviceability issues before they arise on the ground site in the real world.
Looking into the most initial phase of design, the conceptual level, VR can be of great help as using this technology an analysis of the following can be done with real-time experience.
- The impact of light at different times in any space
- Views from the mezzanine floors and underneath these floors.
- Ratio, scale, and proportion of structures planned in the interiors.
- Overall aesthetic in terms of materials and furniture
An added benefit of VR is that it allows the user to render it at different Levels of Detail (LOD), which refers to the breakage of a 3-dimensional model in such a way that as It moves away from the viewer, the complexities decrease and the precise focus changes to closer objects.
Some of the reasons why we need Virtual Reality in Architecture are mentioned below-
1. Avoid rounds of revision.
Giving the client a virtual and detailed view of the building design will make the feedback process more straightforward and easier. This way the client can visualize better and understand their likes as well as dislikes regarding the design. Real-time changes such as wall color, lighting, and furniture can also be done in this Virtual view.
2. Interpretation and Analysis of the space
3. Virtual Reality technology offers more interactivity between space and users. It is not to be forgotten that clients may not visualize the same way as the architects would do. Hence, sometimes it gets difficult to understand the design with the help of technical drawings and even renders for that matter as it remains 2-dimensional.
4. Cost-effective and affordable
Going down in history, VR was not considered by architecture firms in day to day practices because it is expensive and at times unaffordable for certain firms. The procurement of this Virtual Reality set is often seen as a one-time investment that would help the firm in solving the most basic issues to nail the presentations. In today’s times, the availability and range of Virtual Reality equipment have increased and hence it is now used widely.
5. Replicate real-world scenarios
6. This technology helps to navigate a person’s way around the building. Taking the example of a functionally complex building where it is necessary to understand fire safety, this technology can be utilized to map the best possible fire escape routes.