Over the last year or so, Virtual Reality (VR) has become a fundamental tool in our research and design process, and has completely changed how we work. The fully immersive and engaging nature of experiencing the design in 3D helps the end users to fully understand the spatial qualities of their future working environment, and consider how the space would work for them. Their feedback at every cycle of the iterative process helps inform the design solutions. Doing this at the design stage of a project means that any potential issues are recognised – and rectified – as early as possible, which in turn should make the delivery of the project more effortless.
But as technology continues to evolve, so do we. We’re constantly looking for ways in which we can harness technology even more, and continuously develop our approach. So we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of The Lab, Adam, who is our new Head of Digital Experience.
Tell us a little bit about your role
I’m responsible for building, managing and continuously evolving Spacelab’s digital design offering. I’ve always had a strong interest in bringing designs to life through visualisation, such as through VR and Augmented Reality (AR), and I am constantly seeking to improve my skills and knowledge in this rapidly evolving industry. My role allows me to test various software, hardware and digital design tools and processes, to help develop our approach and use of VR even further. As part of this, I work in close collaboration with the design team to ensure that their ideas come to fruition in the best way possible, surpassing not only the clients' expectations, but also their own.
What is something exciting that you’ve been working on?
One notable development that we have introduced recently is the use of ambient sounds and animated people within the model, creating an even more fully immersive experience. Despite being the early stages of using this software, it really is exciting to theorise the possibilities that we could encapsulate and bring to fruition at Spacelab. The possibilities are endless and very real.
What are some of the benefits of VR within the design industry?
VR is on its way to becoming a commonplace technology within this industry, simply because the value proposition is so clear. You can put on a pair of goggles that let you see into the future – to occupy a space before construction even starts. The implications of this are staggering, and likely to disrupt the way we develop concepts and visualise designs. With sometimes millions of pounds and a huge amount of resources on the line, it’s so important to get it right the first time. The ability to extensively prototype and explore design solutions within a virtual model will lead the way to more efficient and effective built environment, ensuring that the spaces that we help to create are perfectly suited to their intended purpose.
Where do you see technology going here in The Lab?
I think technology will come on a huge amount at The Lab as everyone here is fully on board and supportive when pushing the boundaries in technology to help realise our vision when it comes to designing as well as the clients. Ideally, I would like to create a fully immersive experience which encapsulates the whole process, from pitch to completion, in a package which would utilise VR, AR or a mixture of both, and with the continued support of everyone at Spacelab and can certainly see that idea being made possible.