Architecture shapes our lives every day, but how can it be decentralized? At the core of efforts to design extended reality (XR) environments is a desire to make these projects more human and more relatable. As technologists, architects, and users themselves develop new tools for the metaverse, as well as augmented and virtual spaces, new projects are increasingly democratized and open source. At the same time, the design process is being reimagined.
Augmented Reality: The Latest Architecture and News
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.”
We deal with buildings every day. We sleep in them, work in them, live our lives using their accommodation. But like a song or a painting, a person usually helps create them, with those who use and build them, then the world receives that work. But before they are built, buildings are just ideas.
All aspects of society today are becoming increasingly more digital. Our interconnectedness and speed at which we are able to search and transfer information have made us more accustomed to exploring new ways that technology can impact our lives. Over the last few years, the rise of bitcoin, blockchain, and now the metaverse, has caused architects and designers to reconsider the notion of physical and virtual space. But beyond that, there’s an “in-between” of spaces that will be designed to support the technological escapism that the metaverse and web3 offer. While these virtual worlds are on the frontier of the digitization of everything, architects will play a huge part in designing the real-world physical spaces that can support them.
Across the globe, museums function as cultural landmarks – spaces of significance that quite often become defining symbols of a city’s architectural landscape. Historical examples such as the Museum de Fundatie in the Netherlands and The Louvre Museum in France continue to attract millions of visitors, with contemporary architectural interventions to them redefining their spatial contribution to their local context.
Imagine yourself welcoming your colleagues to a business meeting at your home. The table is set next to the infinity pool, under the shadow of a huge curved metal structure reminiscent of Zaha Hadid's most audacious designs except for the complete absence of pillars. Hovering in the air, the roof completes an idyllic setting for this mansion on a rocky hillside. The house was recently acquired as an NFT and is digitally accessed via encrypted code. That's right, this is your virtual home. The physical one is a small 40m2 apartment in the center of one of the busiest and most polluted cities in the global south.
Working remotely throughout the past year has accelerated the introduction of new approaches to real-time rendering, and with it, a new necessity was born: how can a person feel physically present inside a space, without actually being there? Ultimately, designers resorted to the virtual world, a vast realm of interactive built environments that can be accessed from the comfort of one's home. Even the tools utilized, such as headsets and goggles, have become more accessible to the vast majority of the public and are being sold at a lower price than they initially were. We have become accustomed to build, modify, and navigate between different environments, going back and forth between what is real and what isn't. Truth is, virtual has become the new normal.
According to Howard Gardner, human intelligence can be classified into 8 different categories. One of these is spatial intelligence, which describes the ability to mentally create and imagine three-dimensional spaces. Architecture is one of many disciplines that benefits from this ability and in this article we will explore just how visual representation in architecture has evolved throughout history--from displaying the most brilliant of ideas to capturing the wildest of dreams.
Architects don’t make buildings. Architects make drawings of buildings. But of course, someone has to make the building. The construction industry is one of the largest economic sectors and we all interact with the built environment on a daily basis, but the actual work of getting a building from drawing to structure has barely evolved over the decades. While the rest of the world has moved into Industry 4.0, the construction sector has not kept pace. Architecture has begun to embrace some digitalization. After all, not many of us work with mylar on drafting tables anymore. So with the architecture industry’s everlasting link to the construction industry, will the latter pick up some new technological tricks by association? And when it does, how will that change the role of the architect?
Throughout history, people from all walks of life with little in common have found ways to unite in neighborhood parks and filled stadiums to put those differences aside for the sake of the sports they love. Sports, and sports fandom, is a source of global unity, and perhaps fewer events in the world can generate such a wide range of emotions quite like a live match.
This article was originally published on The Architect's Newspaper as "Architects apply the latest in fabrication, design, and visualization to age-old timber."
Every so often, the field of architecture is presented with what is hailed as the next “miracle building material.” Concrete enabled the expansion of the Roman Empire, steel densified cities to previously unthinkable heights, and plastic reconstituted the architectural interior and the building economy along with it.
But it would be reasonable to question why and how, in the 21st century, timber was accorded a miracle status on the tail-end of a timeline several millennia-long. Though its rough-hewn surface and the puzzle-like assembly it engenders might seem antithetical to the current global demand for exponential building development, it is timber’s durability, renewability, and capacity for sequestering carbon—rather than release it—that inspires the building industry to heavily invest in its future.
Shifts in technology reflect how designers are creating experiences of architecture and cities. New advances engender novel ways of working, and in turn, shape our design process. As a practice defined by pushing boundaries, experimenting with workflows, and embracing new design technologies, Morphosis has a forty-year history of enthusiastically wondering at the future.
Morpholio has unveiled a suite of new iconic furniture designs brought to life through augmented reality with Morpholio Board. Joining forces with manufacturer Knoll and one of the world’s top AR visualization companies, Theia Interactive, the team is showcasing a range of work from designers like Eero Saarinen and Marcel Breuer to Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair.
A technological innovation is revolutionizing one of the oldest professions in the world. Augmented reality has just broken onto the scene and has already been transforming civil construction. The changes are seen not only in designing and modeling, but also in building. Augmented reality benefits the entire construction team: engineers, designers, architects, project managers and service providers.
Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally new and independent environment of the real world, augmented reality includes virtual elements that interact with what already exists. It is thus possible to combine virtual architectural designs with the reality of the construction site, increasing efficiency and accuracy, reducing the occurrence of errors and saving time, money and resources.
Morpholio has unveiled AR Sketchwalk, a new augmented reality tool geared towards helping architects bridge the gap between model and reality. Released today, AR Sketchwalk allows designers to use augmented reality to dive into their sketches to give both their clients and themselves a truer sense of the space.