Virtual Reality (VR) is hugely transformative to the way we work as architects. Put simply, it allows us to stand someone in a space that hasn’t been built yet, giving them an immediate and detailed understanding of it.
This immediacy of experience offers us the chance to get a far more refined response from our clients about the space we have designed and how it works for them. Using Virtual Reality architecture helps us to break down barriers to understanding. Of course, we understand 2D plans and can sell an idea to a client, however, it is completely understandable that most clients undertaking a new job find reading those same 2D plans difficult. Not using Virtual Reality can lead to vital decisions being made by clients without a full understanding of what drawings mean.
It’s down to us to ensure we provide the tools to allow informed opinions to our design proposals, empowering the client to make more conscious decisions about everything from where the windows go to what floor covering they want: because we can render and amend all those things using Virtual Reality architecture.
I’ll be honest, the use of Virtual Reality in architecture isn’t always the cheapest option at the outset, but the level of detail and knowing that our clients’ wishes are being met enables us to price overall projects much more accurately. Spending time understanding designs upfront allows both professional and client to make decisions more confidently, because any changes later on, after planning and during construction, often cause unanticipated additional costs. Sadly changes made at a later stage often cost way more than the initial design costs upfront so it’s best to get the detail right at the design stage
By using Virtual Reality in architecture we’ve also vastly improved client satisfaction. Because by sharing such a high level of detail we can minimise shocks further down the line.
I’ve seen Virtual Reality help all kinds of people to understand spaces in a way that drawn plans simply can’t. From our four year old to an elderly lady who was losing mobility, VR allows everyone to easily understand a floor plan because they’re placed directly in it. We’ve even worked with builders and other people who've worked on and with construction projects all their lives who have been astonished by how much easier using Virtual Reality in architecture makes the whole process – and say they would have made different (and better) decisions if they had been able to use this type of technology on previous projects.
Other industries are now coming to us to utilise the technology too – from kitchen designers to health and wellbeing specialists. So Virtual Reality is not only transforming the architecture that we design here at Marraum, but reaching out to make connections beyond that too.