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Illustration of a woman wearing a VR headset that is projecting abstract shapes onto a wall
Marraum Architects21-Oct-2021 11:19:182 min read


Virtual and augmented reality have transformed the technological landscape as we know it. Already so early in their lifecycles, they have shaken up many industries in exciting ways, providing a means of experiencing digital spaces in life-like relief.

Uses in education, gaming, eCommerce and interior design are some of the most popular, but the architecture industry has been enhanced as well.

If you’re unfamiliar with augmented and virtual reality, you may be unsure of the differences between them and how they apply in an architectural context. So, let’s take a look…


Understanding virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) consists of digitally constructed 3D spaces that users can step into via a VR headset. These artificial worlds are designed to be interacted with in varying degrees of complexity, but all have one thing in common: they’re based entirely in a virtual space.

This has applications in both entertainment and commercial industries, allowing users to experience spaces that don’t exist (or they don’t have access to) in a virtual environment. In architecture specifically, there are many possibilities that VR can bring to your home renovation and new build.


How augmented reality differs from VR

Augmented reality (AR) is different in that it transposes virtually crafted assets onto a real-world space. Some popular examples are IKEA’s Place app – which lets users place IKEA products in their homes through their smartphone’s or tablet’s cameras – and the Pokémon Go app, a mobile game that allows users to hunt and collect virtual monsters in the real world.

Augmented reality and virtual reality operate on a similar principle: both aim to craft a digitally constructed experience for users. Virtual reality is the more comprehensive experience for the user, while augmented reality is great for enhancing a real-world experience.


Which has the better application in architecture?

Because modern architectural design leverages virtual reality tech to construct scalable plans, VR is broadly the more useful tool in architecture.

Augmented reality is generally more suited for experiences transposed over an existing landscape, whereas the flexibility and versatility of VR enable the creation of wholly digital spaces.

As you can imagine, this has bridged the gap between architectural design and a client’s brief. Because these virtual spaces can be stepped into before a single brick is laid, the feedback process is much easier to understand for both parties.

That’s not to say that AR can’t be used for tasks such as light renovations – in fact, it excels when it comes to things like interior design and decorating. Overall, though, virtual reality is a boon for the modern architectural design process, and the means exist to experience your space in virtual reality at an architect in Cornwall.


Take your story beyond its walls with virtual reality at Marraum

At Marraum in Cornwall, VR architecture is an exciting reality for our clients. We leverage cutting-edge design technology to create full-scale plans for clients before transposing them into a digital space that can be experienced through our very own VR headset.

To get a taste of what this looks like, you can discover VR walkthroughs that will inspire your next build on our blog. To experience it for yourself, get in touch with our team today to learn how we can bring your space to life using VR technology.


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