Transformation Generated by the Intersection of Virtual and Reality

As Antoine Picon describes in Architecture and the Virtual Towards a new Materiality? : "An architectural project is indeed a virtual object. It is all the more virtual that it anticipates not a single built realization but an entire range of them. …Whereas the architect used to manipulate static forms, he can now play with geometric flows. Surface and volumes topological deformations acquire a kind of evidence that traditional means of representation did not allow.”

In the development of architectural visualization, the term "virtual" has grown increasingly associated with reality. As VR continues to evolve, it will revolutionize the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. This evolution also includes MR (Mixed Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). VR is better for creating or envisioning new structures or projects, but AR and MR are better for altering or adding content to existing ones. AR, VR, MR, and other technologies are collectively known as Extended Reality (XR). This fusion of the virtual and the real alters the visualization representation of architecture in a variety of ways, including expression, design, and realization.

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XR: VR, AR, MR. Image via wowza

1. A new way of architectural expression: Immersion

VR can create a completely virtual environment, lowering the industry's professionalism threshold, presenting results in a more direct and immersive manner, and communicating ideas to customers more quickly. Simultaneously, VR aids design by reducing the cost of trial and error in design by reducing the cost of cutting to the real human perspective and human scale when gradually losing the sense of scale.

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AR Space in Chongqing Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street. Image Courtesy of Architectsengyuzhu Culture Technology Co.,ltd.

The digital world can be brought into our urban life very intuitively through AR, which becomes a medium for interaction between virtual and reality. The infinite nature of AR space allows people to interact with the virtual world through the real world, changing the demand for public space and making urban space design more complex.

2. True Aided Design: Interaction

VR co-design, which allows for co-design in a near-real environment, increases design efficiency while reducing communication costs. And the use of virtual reality has gradually expanded from a project visualization platform to functions with analysis tools, such as light and sound simulation, that can influence design practices at all stages of the project lifecycle.

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VR collaborative design tool, Arkio. Image via Arkio

While AR aids construction by enabling precise fabrication, component combination, and correction via holography and other means, in addition to the selection of robotic arms for fine construction.

 3. Think without boundaries: Metaverse

The buzzword "metaverse" has also inspired new design ideas in recent years, pushing the boundaries of architectural design and thinking about the problems that plague reality through designs that are not bound by reality while breaking through the constraints of physical reality. When people perceive metaverse architecture as an extension of the real world, it influences their perceptions and expectations, causing a revolution in the real world.

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Baidu map, a virtual city where it always rains - Rainy City / Yeah Archkids. Image Courtesy of Yeah Archkids

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: The Future of Architectural Visualizations, proudly presented by Enscape, the most intuitive real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks. Enscape plugs directly into your modeling software, giving you an integrated visualization and design workflow. Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

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Cite: Xiaohang Hou. "Transformation Generated by the Intersection of Virtual and Reality" 29 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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