The days of paper blueprints and pencils are officially at an end. For a while now, architects have been using CAD software and BIM in their day-to-day operations. And while that’s greatly sped up the design process, there’s still so much more technology can do for architecture. As it stands today, VR and AI seem particularly promising, and we’ll show you exactly why.
How VR Will Affect Architecture
VR or augmented virtual reality uses computer technology to replace the real world with a simulated one. That simulated world can have similarities with reality, or it can be entirely different — that’s up to the person who designs the virtual environment. Thanks to that, VR offers countless possibilities to many industries, particularly architecture.
It Will Allow Experimentation With Design
Thanks to VR’s ability to create a brand new virtual world, architects can view their buildings even before completing them. All they would need is a good headset, and they’d be transported into their very own design. Only this design wouldn’t be just a 3D model but a fully immersive environment that gives a real sense of scale and spatial awareness.
In other words, architects would be able to experience their designs firsthand and even play around with them. For instance, they could try out different solutions and floor plans until they come up with a perfect one. It would cost them absolutely nothing, so they could let their imagination run wild!
Such experimentation with designs was never quite possible before, but it’s sure to find great uses in the future. After all, there’s hardly a better way to see if your ideas work than to actually try them out. On top of that, playing around with an idea like that is a certain way to come up with a unique and interesting design.
It Will Make Presenting a Project to Clients Easier
There comes the point during the design stage when an architect has to communicate their ideas to the client. They usually do that through a presentation, using drawings and virtual models to bring their project to life. But while that’s not a bad method, it’s not ideal either. Clients might not be able to fully picture what the architects are showing, and other miscommunications could happen, widening the gap between the two sides.
But if architects incorporate VR into their presentations, miscommunication becomes far less likely. After all, clients would see the architect’s exact vision in an immersive 3D environment. They’d also be able to give their feedback and see its implementation on the spot. That way, they would immediately know whether it works or not.
What’s more, VR could show them what their building would look like at different times of the day or during various weather and light conditions. Equipped with a full picture, clients would understand the project better and thus have an easier time communicating with the architect.
How AI Will Affect Architecture
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term denoting smart machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Thanks to that and its learning capabilities, AI holds immense potential for the future, though it’s still largely unexplored. Even more creative professions, such as architecture, could greatly benefit from these supercomputers.
It Will Automate Simple, Repetitive Tasks
Despite all the progress in technology, architects today still waste a lot of time on simple, repetitive tasks they surely don’t enjoy. Obviously, they’d rather do creative work and design instead, but such mundane tasks often have to be completed first.
That’s where AI comes in to save the day. A complex machine of this caliber should have no problem taking over repetitive tasks and quickly completing them. That, in turn, frees up the architect’s time, allowing them to focus on the stimulating, exciting parts of the job.
And it’s not just the architects that benefit from this. When part of the job is automated, the whole project can be completed much faster. As a result, clients’ satisfaction is likely to be higher, and the entire firm’s reputation will grow. In addition, the firm can take on new projects quicker, which is always a plus.
It Can Also Be Creative
Computers are well-known for being great at following rules and executing tasks according to instructions. What they’re not famous for is their creativity — but AI is about to change that. If given a large enough database of designs to process, AI could generate a brand new design with similar characteristics. On a smaller scale, creative AI already exists.
So, if we team up an architect with creative AI, we might get results no one could ever dream of. AI, which can come up with its own models, could be a fantastic tool for architects. For example, when they’re feeling stuck, they could let AI take over and draw inspiration from the ideas it generates. With a good enough AI, the design would need only a few tweaks to be complete.
That’s not to say that AI can replace architects entirely. Even with its generative abilities, a human would still have to check the design and see whether it’s viable. But ultimately, creative AI of this kind would greatly speed up project completion.
Though both VR and AI are technologies that have yet to be explored, their potential is undeniable. Once they become fully developed, they’re sure to cause quite a revolution in the architecture industry, as well as many others. And that’s certainly something we’re looking forward to.