Most tech experts agree that VR (virtual reality) is the future of experiential technology, but how do Architects use VR and why does it matter to their clients?
At Propel Studio, we already use virtual reality to help design our projects. We also think VR technology is a powerful way to help us communicate our designs to our clients and the public. But, there are even larger implications for the success of our projects so we continue to push the bounds of how we are using VR and introducing it to the people we work with.
If you’re familiar with virtual reality, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that sometimes we sit in our office, stare into our VR goggles and “experience” a project we’re working on. As a client, that should make you happy. We’ve been sketching and drawing and building for years, but now we can experience a project before the first shovel breaks the ground.
-Please enjoy our VR visual. You can use your mouse (or finger on mobile) to view-
Admittedly, as a small firm, we have an advantage in that we can discover new technology and implement it in our office almost immediately without the burden of spending the thousands of dollars and hours necessary to take similar steps in larger firms. We love incorporating tech tools, like our VR goggles and Google Pixel Phones and visualization and modeling software like SketchUp, Revit and Photosphere renderings into our design process. It’s amazing to take an idea from our minds to paper to a computer and suddenly be able to ‘walk through’ it using virtual reality.
Why does all this matter to our clients though? Let’s imagine a few, realistic scenarios: Have you ever looked at a floor plan? Maybe it was for your new house. You saw all the lines that represented your home office and heard your Architect promise that all your furniture would comfortably fit in the room and that there would be beautiful natural light that would be easy to work by, but you really didn’t understand what the room was going to look like. Now imagine you’re sitting in Propel Studio, looking into our VR goggles and virtually seeing your furniture and all that natural light. Virtual reality can help us communicate our designs to our clients more clearly.
What if you were ‘walking through’ your new house through our VR goggles and you noticed the kitchen didn’t function quite as well as you hoped it would. Imagine having the ability for Propel Studio to change the design of the kitchen before construction begins; before that realization becomes a change order. Virtual reality can save our clients time and money. You’ve may never have designed a project for a Portland neighborhood. You may not have had to balance the needs of your client and the concerns of the neighborhood. Imagine you’re an Architect that’s able to ‘see’ all aspects of your design before it’s built. Virtual reality helps us make sure we’re serving our clients and being true to the neighborhoods where we work.
Is VR the future? At Propel Studio we don’t think so. We know VR is the present and that matters. That matters because as our client it helps you understand exactly what we’re designing. That matters because it can help us save our clients money by heading off problems. That matters because it helps us know that we’re doing the right thing for everyone involved.
For additional VR tours, visit the project links below and scroll to the bottom of the page: