Picture yourself in a rundown and outdated office in a far away city. You have never been to this city, nor have you seen the office firsthand, but you’ve been tasked with the responsibility of creating a modern space planning solution that will cater to the building’s natural light, maximize the small space, and allow for a handful of individual offices and a community room.
Any designer would tell you it’s a nearly impossible task, that to create a functional design you must actually see and feel the physical space to understand what is possible. But thanks to new and seemingly futuristic virtual reality technology, planners, designers and architects will be able to virtually place themselves anywhere in the world (or in the universe, for that matter) to build and create designs.
Thanks to the proliferation of virtual reality technology, designers and architects now have options to create work in new and exciting ways. You can now virtually walk through and edit your designs in real time. Using handheld motion controllers, users can move, adjust and customize objects within a virtual space.
London-based VRtisan, an architectural visualization software company, creates 3D renderings like you’ve never seen before, in a virtual space that allows designers to walk through, edit the space and show it to clients in a visceral way.
In an interview with Dezeen, Ekke Piirisild of VRtisan said, “It’s a whole new way of designing … You’re not taking yourself out of the space to design, as you do when you design in 2D. It allows you to immediately see the impact of your decisions regarding form, materials and so on.”
Not only will designers be able to see and virtually feel their way around a room, but the technology allows for different vantage points. You can walk through a room using different perspectives: that of a very tall man, a small child, an employee in a wheelchair and more. Seeing your design in the eyes of another person can inspire you to create much more comprehensive and well-balanced designs for people of all shapes and sizes.
There are now a handful of virtual reality tools and software optimized specifically for designers and architects, but it is clear to the tech community that the larger implications of VR in the space planning world are impossible to ignore. Beyond the use of this technology in daily life and work, designers can use it for the betterment of society worldwide. For example, by immersing oneself into the desk of a child in an African school, the user will be almost able to feel the heat, the cramped space of the mud walls and the limited airflow. The altruistic designer would be able to design a solution from thousands of miles away.
As VR technology becomes more advanced, options for users will become infinite. We will be able to travel to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, to the top of Mount Everest, to the moons of Saturn and beyond. Space planners must prepare for this cosmic shift in how designs will be made.