Wars, environmental catastrophes or modernisations often mean that architecturally valuable buildings are forgotten. Which means, at the same time, that the master achievements of many architects are lost from memory, too. Can digitalisation prevent this and augmented reality (AR) make us into time travellers?
Through the progress of digital technology, as with AR – where reality is not only simulated but augmented – whole castles, buildings and urban districts can be called into life again. And even buildings no longer existing at a particular spot can be viewed virtually. Using apps which are already available for tourist purposes among others, you can get information about famous landmarks when the surroundings are filmed by smartphone.
A further experience is provided by VR apps, of the kind used by the City of Munich. In this way, by means of virtual city tours, you can find out all about Munich, from the Hofbräuhaus to the Viktualienmarkt, and do so directly on your desktop or by using VR glasses.
Time travel – will it soon come true?
If you want time travel, try the “Timelooper” app, by which you can be there when the Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989, or go even further back into the past – such as the building of the Rockefeller Centre in 1932.
But how shall we experience a city when we are able to wear VR or AR contact lenses without problems in our daily round and take our Sunday walk not just through different parts of the town but through several epochs, while admiring every kind of buildings and the historical Environment?
These modern technologies offer an immense opportunity not just for tourists but for all town and city dwellers, all those who love art, culture and architecture. Moreover, viewing and experiencing historical architecture can provide us with a constant, play-based education, even exploiting the field of entertainment. Will architecture in this way become a vital cornerstone of our everyday lives?
Architecture for life
Imagine – if a building which no longer exists can be viewed at any time, using modern, digital technologies, seeing it in this way will enable us to appreciate its creator, living or dead, famous or obscure – the architect!
Architects must prepare themselves to continue playing a role in future.
Visit the next Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main from 9 to 12 January 2018, at which we, of the Finest Interior Award, shall be asking the great question: “What’s real?”
Photograph: Brigitte Tohm
The FINEST INTERIOR AWARD was created to honour the work of architects, interior architects and interior decorators and take account of the growing demand for individual and professional contract furnishing. The communicative focal point of this year’s FINEST INTERIOR AWARD is the digitalisation of reality. What impact are virtual reality and augmented reality having on architecture, interior architecture and interior decoration? What changes do they imply for the job descriptions of these professions? And what benefits are they likely to have for consumers? The FINEST INTEROR AWARD will tackle these and other interesting questions in its guest commentaries under the motto ‘What’s real?’.
The award will be presented on the eve of Heimtextil in Frankfurt. During the fair, there will be an information featuring the winners in the foyer of Hall 4.0.