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How to Leverage Virtual Reality (VR) Within Your Design Process

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © Jeshootscom | Pixabay

HYPER-COMMUNICATION USING VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

Communication is a vital part of the architectural design and presentation process. Whether you are communicating with your design team, or with a client, the way you present your project matters. For this reason, it is important to think about multi-sensory design in terms of experience immersion during the design stages. In other words, how do you go about presenting your design project (at its various stages) to yourself, your design team, or your client? How immersive do you make the experience of your design concept?

As multi-sensory design converges with more responsive and adaptive designing, it becomes increasingly necessary to see more deeply into your design at early stages in the concept formulation process. Of course, your design visualizations all invite the viewer in to perceive them, but you may find that a 2D drawing shows much less of the design intent as compared to a virtual reality (VR) immersive experience. For example, it may be helpful to use VR to convey a design’s kinetic motion or changeable material qualities. A 2D drawing would have a more difficult time showcasing this in real-time.

THE GROWING-EDGE: AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)

I invite you as an architectural designer to unlock the power of 3D to 4D visualization. Going from 3D visualizations to interactive 4D immersive VR experiences of your design projects (with sound) will convey your concept ideas better by making your multi-sensory design interventions come to life in more tangible ways. Then, it is wise to keep your eye on the growing-edge where augmented reality (AR) will be able to sculpt a new kind of immersive experience. Just imagine being able to fuse your virtually rendered design with a real-world space.

The aim of creating immersive experiences of your design concepts is to help you, your team members, and your  clients make better design decisions. For this reason, it is critical to understand where design technologies are headed, so you can use and leverage these immersive concept design tools. By building immersion into your design process, you may be surprised to find yourself making more refined multi-sensory design decisions, and having clients better understand those decisions.

THE FUTURE: FULLY IMMERSIVE DESIGNING

Technology is a tool. As an environmental designer it is up to you to guide those tools into your concept formulation processes. Use emerging VR and AR tools to your advantage, to not only see your designs more deeply but to actually realize breakthrough ideas while within an immersive experience. One day, designing may become a fully immersive experience. Until then, VR and AR advancements are the next best thing. Do not let them go unnoticed. Explore how you can leverage them to create extraordinary architecture.

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NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

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Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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