Innovation and modernity have worked in conjunction with architects for as long as the profession has existed. The world’s most prolific architects made their fame by means of their forward-thinking and unique designs.

Today, architectural design is becoming more daring, bold, and done by utilizing modern technology like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. With the right training, immersive technology like AR and VR can become a major disruptor in the industry.

Virtual Reality in Architecture

Virtual reality is implementing itself in a variety of industries worldwide, but architecture is one that is just beginning to catch stride. Firms are collaborating with tech companies like Samsung and HTC to design VR wearables and hiring more software developers on their teams to begin testing it out.

One tech company, Kalloc Studios, developed Fuzor, a software that acts like a plug-in for Revit or Rhino architectural software, turning 3-D models into roamable virtual environments of projects and conceptual designs where designers can meet and work together. This could revolutionize the way architects and planners conceptualize deigns for architects that gives the industry a new perspective to work with.

Immersive Data

The multitude of new software has brought with it a multitude of new data to process. Tech companies and architecture firms are now able to use data visualization in exciting new ways for architects.

At a planetarium in Shanghai, China, Brian Hopkins, Ennead Architects’ director of applied computing, and his team, used the Ladybug and IrisVR plug-ins for Grasshopper 3D to overlay environmental data about the building’s reception of daylight on the design itself.

This gave the designers a more humanized version of the same data they were computing—one where they could experience the data in real-time, knowing how much light would be concentrated where and at which time of day. All as a result of virtual reality.

3-D Printing

Another tool that has broken through in the architecture world is 3-D printers. In the architectural world, these have become a quintessential part of the planning process. Rather than rely on two-dimensional CAD modeling on paper or traditional blueprints, 3-D printed CAD models provide a true-to-life model of what a project will look like—completely redefining the production of construction documents.

Parametric Design & Artificial Intelligence

A hot-trend in the architectural world as of late has been parametric design. According to Interesting Engineering, “Parametric design is a design system that allows you to play with certain parameters to create different types of outputs and create forms and structures that would not have otherwise been possible.”

The parametric architecture uses CAD software installed with geometric programming. This, along with complex algorithms and the help of artificial intelligence to sort it all out, gives architects the tools to test different ideas and expand the creative possibilities for an online software.

More and more firms are beginning to test some kind of immersive technology in their projects. Whether its virtual concept displays on a pair of VR goggles or a new CAD plugin that gives planners and architects new perspectives on the nuances involved with building a structure. This seems to be laying the foundation for the future of architecture around the world.

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