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We’re always looking for new ways to demonstrate our designs and plans to clients. The aim is always to excite, immerse and inform. This can be pretty tricky to do when looking at 2D or 3D plans, but the industry is changing, and it’s time we’re all prepared for the evolution of Virtual Reality into our every day working life.

So instead of looking at a design on a computer screen, we can now provide our clients with the chance to step inside their 3-D design, engaging and interacting with the proposed building in full scale before it’s even on site.

And it doesn’t just benefit the client, for the design team it allows for a deeper level of understanding and creativity that wasn’t possible before, bringing back personal skill and craftsmanship from the team into the heart of the design process.

Scale is one of the major issues when it comes to construction, as the client can find it difficult to fathom the scale from just a design, however with VR the client and designer can step inside the building and really touch the surface and not just see it.

For a true VR experience, head-mounted displays (HMDs) are one of the easiest and most realistic ways to step inside the full-scale design.

However by using a simple process with our software and our smart phone, we are able to realise much more to the design plans and structure. Photorealistic VR, with your smartphone, is a lot more of an attainable approach and is a similar process to HMD, but uses images from apps such as RoundMe iOS. This allows us to utilise Google Cardboard mobile VR and easily view the immersive environment of the design.

These panoramic photos created through the software, result in a deeper level of documentation of the design process, and it lets team members who haven’t been on site experience the proposed construction in a more engaging way.

At present, it’s a great way to coordinate building design and systems, and to also share with the client a deeper understanding of the project. We know there’s a lot more to come before this becomes the norm in the studio, but it’s still pretty exciting to see where we are heading.

It’s crucial that any studio looks forward and finds pioneering ways like this to engage with the client in the best possible way for every single project. VR just so happens to be one of those ways.

Blog by Martin Smith

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