In Step with Changing Times
How virtual and augmented realities are impacting on the architectural sector
To create something unique, you need to show your client that you are also indispensable. Architects must, therefore, prepare themselves, so that they still have a role to play in the future.
We need to have an appropriate approach to virtual reality.
It is indisputable that digitalisation has, over the past few decades, thrown into question many of the assumptions about our personal everyday lives – both at home and at work. There are constant updates and new inventions, shifts and newly appearing holes in the system. As a result, there remains a number of people for whom digitalisation still does not seem entirely wholesome.
The fault stems largely from a lack of knowledge, coupled with fear: fear of doing something wrong or of not understanding. Particularly when work-related things are at stake, inertia must not become a habit! Digital development must be understood as an opportunity to keep abreast of the times and maintain a competitive edge. In an interview with us, virtual-reality expert Professor Steinicke from the University of Hamburg predicts: “In just a few years’ time, visual representation in VR will achieve a level of quality, such that the virtual world will no longer be distinguishable from the real one.”
Anyone can become a VR/AR architect. – Really? Anyone?
It is great fun to try out an app, in which you can move furniture around in virtual space as an aid to planning rooms. Why employ an interior architect and pay out good money, when a layperson can do a perfectly good job on their own tablet?
Let’s take it a step further: in future, people will be able to avoid the higher prices that land in particularly favoured locations attracts, because, with VR, even a room in the cellar can provide a fabulous place to live. Windows with heavenly views can simply be projected onto the walls, and new-style lamps can conjure up a Californian sunset in any room.
This would, therefore, completely rob architects of their thunder. That is why their sector must always be at the top of its game and bring to bear their invaluable knowledge and experience, with suggestions that Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones would probably not think of when building a house and subsequently furnishing it.
New challenges for architects
In the interview he gave us, Joshua Burkert from the Beyond Matter Studio even sees digitalisation as a major opportunity for architects. Projects can be realised with much greater detail and with greater enthusiasm for experimentation. And a ‘walk-through’ of a virtual building will give clients a realistic impression of the final effect. Through sustained commitment to digital technology, new areas of professional responsibility open up for planners, therefore, and leave the sector securely in its rightful place, as indispensable as ever.
Architects must prepare themselves, so that they still have a role to play in the future.