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Immersive Architectural Media

Using digital technologies to experience the true nature of space, before it has even become a reality.

One of the newest and potentially most useful tools to come into play within the field of Architecture is Virtual Reality, or VR. If the move from 2D hand drafting to computer-aided drafting was swift, the embrace of 3D computer modeling, with its acrobatic, revolving images that allow a view from every angle, has been even faster. The next logical advance will be from 3D modeling onto a new platform that provides yet another level of interaction. Virtual reality is anticipated to be this platform, allowing the viewer to experience the illusion of being present within the digital model and to encounter directly all aspects of the design. You are (seemingly) there!

Different types of virtual reality technology currently exist, providing different levels of immersion between the physical and computer-generated worlds. But in short, virtual reality goggles provide a window into a 3D virtual space, allowing the viewer a full spherical view from a single point. These goggles can be part of a full headset kit with hand controllers and room sensors. Virtual reality kits create the full immersion virtual world, a place where the viewer can interact with the digital model as if in the physical world, and see, first hand, the beauty, strengths, and flaws of the design.

Regardless of the kind of virtual reality used, the benefits to the architect and client are immense. Integrating the project’s 3D model with virtual reality allows near instant feedback of data and visuals, cutting down the time to produce, meet, and discuss the issues at every change. For the first time, building scale, materials, and color can be shown and experienced the way they were meant to be. And with the addition of ambient noise and daylighting, a near perfect representation of a space is created, enjoyable from the comfort of your chair.

Dane Teegardin

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