Mass adoption of immersive technology is rapidly increasing and VR as a communication tool is gaining momentum as a way to future-proof many different types of businesses.
Architects in particular, are quickly adopting VR to make the most out of their BIM data by bringing their 3D models to life. VR within architecture allows communicating design intent in a way that’s not been possible before and at every step, BIM instils trust in the visuals by ensuring technical accuracy.
As an architect, the nature of trust is twofold, which they often find themselves in the middle of. From one perspective, being able to trust the accuracy of the model is paramount to being an architect. On the other hand, the project really begins with building a relationship with the client and firstly getting them to trust you.
VR becomes a powerful communicator that allows this two-way flow of trust to begin, so here are four ways that VR can help build trust with clients:
1. Show you understand their needs.
“Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” - Hans Hofmann
Not all people struggle to imagine things but having to verbally describe a concept to another person is tough, not to mention time consuming. By establishing common ground quickly, you are assuring clients that you understand what they want and gives them peace of mind that you are making decision choices that align with theirs.
2. Work together, create collaboration.
A digital model is easy enough to showcase to the client, but the fact is that it still remains constricted to a 2D format. Renders and floor plans are great as supporting material when catching the client up to speed, but VR allows clients to jump straight in from zero to 3D.
What this means is that clients can start giving you relevant feedback that’s not confused with misinterpreting technical drawings. Involving them in the design process in a positive way is critical in building mutual respect and trust needed for a productive working relationship.
3. Lets you say no.
So, how does saying ‘no’ establish trust? Well for example, for clients, building a home it is very much an emotional journey. Sometimes it’s hard to separate them from an idea when you, as an architect, already knows that it won't work. We’ve seen more than one situation where VR has allowed the architect to easily justify why something needs to be done a certain way by virtually showing the constraints, and this experience helps the clients be more trusting of the architects’ expertise in subsequent meetings.
4. Understand space like never before.
A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” - Louis Khan
To have confidence is about having faith and trust in our own abilities. The ability to understand space and scale is traditionally something learnt through years of practice and experience as an architect. Now, VR allows you to rapidly test design ideas and get immediate feedback on whether or not something works. Speeding up this learning cycle means you have more freedom to explore conceptual ideas and build confidence in your design decisions. Consequentially, this trust of your own designs skills comes through when you present back to clients and stakeholders. VR can help you build your knowledge and understanding of space and instill trust.
Viewing a building in VR with clients is a rewarding experience for both parties. Contractors and stakeholders alongside designers and engineers can jointly visit a new building, evaluate the project, implement changes, and move forward in agreement - even before breaking ground. Imagine the innovative, collaborative workplace culture you could cultivate in this space.
Virtual Reality is about more than just keeping pace with a trend; the real value of VR is establishing trust with clients and building great working relationships. It’s a medium that offers to translate your creative vision into reality and share it with someone else.
"You can literally export our models with the click of a button. Plug in the headset and away you go. We can take our clients on a tour of their future homes.”
-Ed Dieppe, Architect at Dieppe Designs