Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies are currently progressing across multiple disciplines- gaming, art, therapy, film but also architecture and engineering.
At Max Fordham we are researching and implementing various applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality tools. By using the entire body as part of the process, we can develop both the dimensional and the ergonomic relationships of spaces and elements.
DEVELOPING SOLUTIONSViewOne of the impacts that *VR and **AR has on the built industry is the ability to more realistically visualise a project. At Max Fordham, we know how to think creatively and practically. Your project will benefit from our understanding of what it takes to make great ideas that work.
We can create an output that allows 3D virtual objects to be integrated into a 3D environment in real time. This allows the client to be involved in early stage design development and help the design team in the decision making process.
*VR- Virtual Reality. Def: The computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
**AR- Augmented Reality. Def: A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view
Virtual reality has the ability to allow people to design in a new way and fundamentally rethink how to create spaces and places.
Our simulations combine acoustic and visual aspects of the design and provide a unified immersive insight into how the finished building could feel like. In the modelling we include a number of elements including interior components, soundscape, M&E services and daylighting and artificial lighting to name a few.
For lighter applications we work on smartphone headsets which are mobile and quick to set up. In instances where more computational power is required (e.g. real time lighting rendering) proprietary high-end VR headsets are used.
We put great emphasis on the acoustic side of the experience. For example the ability to assess the direction and distance of a given sound while picking it out from a noisy environment greatly enhances the sense of presence in virtual reality. We can do this by combining VR with our new 3D Ambisonics sound lab to provide a state of the art audio-visual experience.
Augmented reality can overlay digital content, with the ability to show us real-world imagery. This means you can experience the interior of a building when it is still at the earliest stages of design. AR is particularly useful for presentation of design concepts in buildings that are difficult to show in 2D. We present our models from paper prints, showing how to design in full 3D through the immersive visualisation technique. The outcome can be viewed on smartphone, tablet or through an AR headset.
Working collectively on a single virtual interactive 3D model, while maintaining visual contact with the surroundings, pushes the boundaries of the design team meetings. “Holographic” 3D models imported from Sketchup or Revit can be viewed in multiple versions and configurations.
We want to be able to visualise and present our proposals for existing buildings and to communicate the impact of the changes that we are proposing at very early design stages. We are monitoring the advances in positional tracking and computer vision technologies. This includes testing possibilities of overlaying the modelling onto existing structure using advanced AR hardware.