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The Future of Architecture as Impacted by Augmented Reality

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

Image Credit: © szlagor | Flickr

Technological convergence has led us to the proliferation of the mobile device — and with that will come some big changes for the way architecture get perceived. You see, with mobile devices you will be able to perceive of buildings through more informational dimensions. In fact, by simply looking at a museum (when approaching it from the exterior), you may be able to use such a mobile device to see what exhibits are inside, or even to see what objects are inside. And this is all thanks to the “Articulated Naturality Web” — augmented reality. (1)

Before I go on, I’d like to show you what I’m talking about. Please have a look at the following video:


Such augmented reality advances seem to be a grand unifier — in that they unify information by removing boundaries of place, material, or time. By being able to configure a room visually, by standing within its space, and see the cost on the fly is quite amazing. And this unification of information that will be made available using augmented reality will impact the way buildings get not only perceived, but used.

In effect, buildings will “emit” more information, beyond the traditional sensory modalities. No longer will they solely be about material, light, sound, touch, and so on. Additionally, they will convey social, economic, cultural, and usability information — even before a visitor has stepped inside.

So, as you design, think about what information may get “unified” when it comes to your building. And also think about how that information will help that building to be perceived or used better. In other words, how can augmented reality information be used to make a building more beneficial to its users?

Just imagine a world where people could wear contact lenses that unified all of the information — whether physical or virtual. Buildings would become informational hubs, in addition to being physical centers. How might you design differently when knowing this? Mobile, real-time, unification of information may make you pay more attention to “approach” in entirely new ways. Or perhaps, the way you deal with “culture” would be different when knowing that that building’s culture can be “radiated” outward virtually — impacting its surrounding context in more transparent ways.

In the end, such augmented reality innovations help to bring architecture into the forefront as institutions that can push the boundaries, helping us to live better quality lives. So, tell me — what do you think of such innovations? How might they push you to design differently? And better?

(1) The Future of Augmented Reality Video




what members are saying...
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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