We humans have developed a massive appetite for hyper realistic online experiences, driven no doubt by the amazing creatives in the online gaming world and in movieland.
But imagine if you could use that technology to show in an almost realistic way what your new residential or commercial development will look like: the colours, the internal finishes, the views from the balconies.
Imagine you can show your neighbours what the impact on the street will be – how your dream project may actually enhance the neighbourhood vibe instead of making it more dreary, as often happens.
Once, not so long ago, it was only high-end complex development projects that could turn on this fabulous visualisation potential.
But now thanks to the determination of Murtaza Poonawala and his dedicated creative team at Studio 5253, the benefits of virtual reality technology can be made “real” for mid size projects or even a stand alone house.
No more scale models or 3D drawings. Although these too are valid and helpful tools that can help explain the transition from imagined to real.
Murtaza has been on the mission to create this “every person’s” VR for several years, since he started his company seven years ago.
Now, with the current challenges underway to work, collaborate and trade remotely there, is a stronger pivot to hyper connected technology.
In so many ways virtual reality is a technology whose time has well and truly arrived.
His dream was to make VR part of affordable architecture that could help solve the often tricky problems of translating design visions to the material world.
A basic version of VR though, for a stand alone house external and internal might be around just the $3000-5000 mark. This technology can also be viewed on VR headgear, but also on touch screens, tablets and iPads. With the restriction currently to visit offices and display suites this solution can take the guesswork out of the build and customers can select their colours and finishes to visualise the new build.
“You can do so much,” Murtaza says.
“Think what you can do. You can sample different building fabric and explore different avenues to achieve better thermal mass and see what it will look like. And you can do a proof of concept.
“You can position water tanks around the site and see what shape or size looks best. You can decide the best place for the solar panels or how any new solar technology will look.”
It will also be possible to input sustainability variables and outcomes such as a BASIX or NatHERS ratings that can be achieved with the variations in your designs, he says.
And of course you can Google to get the exact location and try out different landscaping options.
The possibilities are limited only by the designer and client’s imagination, Murtaza says.
“It makes it affordable architecture.”
“We really wanted to keep it affordable so that more and more people in the industry can use it. We also wanted to keep it flexible.”
“How it works is the architects give us drawings. We can work from sketches and concepts and ideas. We complete the render and the interactive part of things.”
Murtaza in based in Sydney but has lived in different parts of the world so his eyes are on the global potential for the technology he offers. He also has offices in the US, France, the UK and in New Zealand.
“What’s great is it’s completely scalable internationally. You can be doing things in different parts of the world, and never leave your office.”