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Role of AR and VR In Architecture

The digital upsurge is in full swing. The global revolution of digital gadgets and technologies is upgrading every day. With the implementation of AR and VR in architecture, it’s evident that even architecture is pursuing these global digital trends.

AR and VR
Image source : Istockphoto.com

Did you know you can experience a space even before it’s built? 

Imagine walking over a volcano or walking next to a dinosaur. How cool is that? Does it seem like a science-fiction movie? Even ten years ago, such visual experiences were futuristic dreams. But fortunately, they aren’t a dream anymore! Thanks to technological advancements. 

With the launch of AR and VR technologies, users are experiencing even their wildest dreams in reality. Even though the entertainment and gaming industries adapted these techs pretty early, these gadgets also benefit other industries like architecture, healthcare, automotive, tourism, etc.

What is AR? How does it work?

AR and VR
Image source: Istockphoto.com

AR or augmentation reality is an interactive digital experience. The users can superimpose the digital graphics over the real-time environment to enhance reality. These experiences import digital graphics into reality using multi-sensory inputs like visual, auditory, and olfactory stimulation.

Despite its origins in entertainment and gaming, AR has also anchored an essential place in architecture. Architects use these AR technologies to import the digital images of the infrastructure into the actual site. It allows the architects and their clients to experience the built space before breaking the grounds on the actual site. 

AR allows architects to simplify the design process. Visualizing the project before construction helps clients understand the project’s outcomes. The full-scale visualization also helps in understanding the impact of the project on its site and pinpoint mistakes, saving time, money, and energy.

What is VR? How does it work?

AR and VR
Image source: Istockphoto.com

VR or virtual reality is a visual experience that creates an interactive virtual environment for its users. These visuals can either be an actual or artificial environment, where the visuals are three-dimensional and interactive. Users can use mobile devices like VR Goggles and headsets to interact with virtual reality. 

VR allows architects and builders to establish better communication. It behaves as a collaborative tool and virtually unites people in a shared digital world. They can walk and move around in these virtual spaces, exploring and experiencing them. It helps in explaining the projects to the client and makes visualization easy.

Role of AR and VR in Architecture

Now that we are aware of AR, VR, and their functions. In general, AR and VR software’s are available as mobile applications. You can install these apps on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for better accessibility.  Let’s understand more about their implementation in architecture.

Superimposing BIM

The AEC or  Architecture, Engineer, and Construction sectors implement AR and VR to visualize the project’s outcomes. The AEC sectors use building information modeling (BIM) tools with AR and VR in architecture to create these digital realities. Superimposing the BIM graphics to the physical site helps the experts understand the project’s potential. These tools also help the designer finalize the infrastructure’s tools, materials, and designs.

Flexible Training and Manuals

Construction jobs are no joke. People undergo training to understand the functioning of construction equipment. Most of which are heavy and complex to handle. However, even relatively new workers can take digital instruction from these apps and work seamlessly using AR and VR technologies.

These apps provide information on how to use the machinery and when to operate them—refraining the need for highly skilled staff recruitment. Thus, reducing the overall budget of the project. 

Bridges collaboration and communication 

The designer’s thought process will not be the same as that of their clients. It often creates chaos when the client’s expectations differ from the project’s outcome. Hence to bridge the gap between them and the clients, architects use AR and VR as collaborative and communicational tools.

These apps allow the users to experience the space before execution. Clients can walk through their virtual built space, interact with it and make ideal decisions based on their experience. It also establishes a better understanding of the project’s complexity and helps the builder coordinate on-site construction. 

Encourages creativity

Designing is a form of art. However, in reality, creativity in architecture can become risky. Failure of projects on functional and structural bases was widespread. The same fear refrained from experimenting with their ideas. Thankfully, things changed when people started using AR and VR in architecture.

Architects are experimenting with their creativity. The extravagance of experiencing the space before execution allows for new approaches and techniques. Financial and time investments are also saved from rework and project failures.

Avoids Error

As humans, we are bound to make errors. Fatal errors can often cost a hefty sum to the investors. Design and construction errors require rework, losing time, energy, and resources.

Designers always had a communication gap between them and builders. These gaps resulted in a false depiction of the projects and fatal mistakes.

Architects use AR and VR to bridge this gap and avoid fatal mistakes. Moreover, on-site full-size visualization of the project can help the experts pinpoint the mistakes and rectify them before construction.

Better Visualization

As professionals, one can visualize a staircase or a double-height ceiling in their mind, but is it possible for an average person? Your clients might not understand the essence of the space unless they experience it. AR and VR play a vital role in such scenarios.

Design is subjective. The perspective of an architect will not be the same as their clients. But with proper visualization, you can solve these issues. A better presentation can also be a bonus to get the project approved fast.

Architectural transformation 

Architecture has evolved over the years. So many potentials are discovered every day. Thanks to the launch of AR and VR in architecture, architects are now executing some untapped potential. 

These apps help the investor, and the professionals understand the project’s scope and act accordingly. Since clients experience the space before construction, it also encourages the professionals to alter the project before its construction. It is evident from their significance that these apps are revolutionizing architecture in its economy, energy, and experience.

By Hajara Banu

Hajara Banu is a professional architect, content writer, and strategist. She is on her journey to share her love of architecture, design, and content creation. Besides writing, Hajara loves coffee and often experiments with cooking and organizing in her free time.

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