Traditionally, the architectural design industry uses pre-rendered visuals or scale models to communicate their designs to clients and stakeholders. Whilst this can provide a reasonable representation of concept designs for presentations, there are still situations where technology can provide a greater level of understanding, realism and collective appreciation for the designers and clients.
The challenge here was for the team at Hickman & Smith Architects to effectively present their proposed designs to their client, utilising their own 3D dataset, in such a way that the client could make efficient, visual-based decisions.
The MTC virtual reality CAVE system presented an opportunity for Hickman & Smith Architects to fully communicate their design and allow the client to experience it as if it were real.
Utilising the IC.IDO VR software from ESI, the 3D architectural design was imported into the fully immersive environment. By utilising a combination of head-tracking and 3D stereo visuals, the client was able to interact with the building in a very natural way and systematically ‘walk’ the spaces, offering comment or proposed design changes on the fly.
Using VR as a design tool assists the process of identifying cost savings earlier in the design stages and, therefore, reduces the need for expensive variations once the project is on site.