Seattle-based architecture and design firm NBBJ has formed a new business partnership with startup Visual Vocal to develop an innovative virtual reality (VR) productivity platform. Using this new tool, distributed project stakeholders will be able to immerse themselves into unbuilt environments and provide instantaneous feedback.
As opposed to traditional methods of communication such as email, a new VR platform, combined with mobile and cloud-based communications, could help expedite and facilitate the sharing of designs with clients, in a way that has "the potential to transform workflows within the field of architecture and beyond," state NBBJ in a press release.
“NBBJ’s decision to launch Visual Vocal is representative of our ongoing mission to find more informative and inspiring ways to engage clients in the design process. This partnership will radically shift the way design feedback is sourced and integrated into projects, and the speed at which it can be done," said NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell, FAIA, in a press release. "As a result, we can more broadly and deeply engage project stakeholders than we could have dreamed in the past. Whether for clients or the general public, virtual reality will deepen design discourse and bring together communities in new and exciting ways,”
While several firms within the design industry have explored VR platforms, this partnership marks the first instance of “an established design firm incubating a VR startup inside its own offices and developing new tools to improve decision-making and remove waste from the design process.”
“Visual Vocal is building a platform for distributed conversation, collaboration, and decision-making through the power of immersive computing technologies,” said Visual Vocal Co-Founder John SanGiovanni. “For the past year, we have worked closely with NBBJ’s technical, creative, and project leadership to understand the complexities of distributed collaboration. Together, we have forged a new VR framework aimed at making 3D decision-making more accessible, enjoyable, and efficient.”
Visual Vocal will launch the beta version of its platform as an NBBJ exclusive later in 2016, and NBBJ will pilot the software on design projects for healthcare, corporate, and urban planning clients.
Learn more about the project here.
News via NBBJ.