Contextualising Design

‘Designing’ is the formation of early ideas about a project using physical and digital models. ‘Design review’ is the process by which the end media is evaluated. Both activities occur repeatedly during the typical design phase of an architectural project.  ‘Designing’ write Bharat & Dave, ‘is reflective, with much of the ideas developing in an internalised conversation with a range of media. The design review by contrast is a group activity, in which design options from different designers, are compared and discussed in relation to a range of issues.’ AR brings to the table a new ability to visualise and interact with a design on its intended site, in real-time, giving the designer another tool in their media arsenal; and allows a group to explore and review more intuitively the impact of a design when viewed in its final location.  

Architectural design today occurs largely in the office behind a computer, in a geospatial location removed from the site of its design project. Whatever context is required to understand site constraints and assess a design’s merit in the early concept days needs to be built from scratch by the design team.

AR in this way can provide a ‘reality check’ for designers: rather than view a design in an abstract context that is prone to misrepresentation, omission, or idealisation, Augmented Reality allows a virtual design model to be visualised directly in its intended final environment.

Designing Example:

This video by Smart Vidente looks at the on-site planning of infrastructure on a site. A lamp post is interactively located on site, and sub-surface assets are shown overlaid in the real-world. This augmented planning experience is a small – and simplistic- taste of the possibilities to come.

Subsurface Mobile Augmented Reality Technology
Mobile AR Visualisation of New Hotel Plans
Posted 25 August 2013
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