Virtual Reality and Architecture
As technology advances, so too do the tools that people like myself use in our trade. Those interested in the tech industry will already know that the next big things seems to be Virtual Reality and there are already a number of devices out there that allow developers to create full on simulations of whatever is floating around their heads.
I believe that, as time goes on, we will see more of this technology seep into the architectural sector, to the point where it may become a key selling point for architects who wish to show what they really have in their minds when it comes to designing buildings.
How Will it Help?
I don’t for a second believe that virtual reality will ever replace concept drawings and in-depth blueprints. After all, both are need to establish an architect’s ideas in the first place, in addition to playing a crucial role in the construction of their projects.
No, instead I see Virtual Reality becoming something of an accompaniment to these most crucial of documents. I believe that architects will begin using virtual reality to essentially create tours of the buildings they hope to construct, allowing people to see the wonders of their work before they have ever been constructed.
Of course, the technology will never be capable of replacing the true majesty and artistry that goes into the work itself. However, it will likely become a key tool in the efforts of architects to show key stakeholders and funders exactly what they are backing and where their money is most likely to go.
Perhaps, in the future, we will see even more complex Virtual Reality software. One day, we may be able to use that software to actually help us design our buildings, rather than using it as a depiction of what the building currently is. I envision a world where a virtual construct is created and then I, as an architect, can explore my own work and look for the things that aren’t quite right or could use a little bit of a touch-up. Upon discovery, I can make the changes within the program, which produces reports and perhaps even blueprints to match my ideas.
At the moment, this is all pie in the sky thinking, but it increasingly seems like this is the direction the industry is going in. Multiple companies have sprung up specializing in implementing Virtual Reality into the architectural process and it is truly an exciting time to be part of the sector.
A Quick Word About the Consumer Market
Beyond its practical use for career architects, I can also see Virtual Reality becoming a way for people to experience wonderful examples of modern and historic architecture without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
As the technology becomes more affordable, perhaps we will see trusts and building owners creating software that allows users to take virtual tours of their buildings.
Again, I truly don’t believe that this can replace the real thing, however, for those who are unable to travel to the great buildings of the world, for whatever reason, it could provide a pathway to discovery that would otherwise have been closed to them.
We are already seeing examples of this with augmented reality technology, much of which allows people to take virtual tours of buildings via their phones and other devices. The next step will really build upon that to create even more grandiose experiences.