This exploration integrated Augmented Reality into the world of architecture and compared it to a similar existing tool: traditional model making.

Why Augmented Reality?: The generation of Augmented Reality models is much faster, allowing multiple options to be made. With the possibility of changing materials easily, it see this becoming a regular design tool.

Process: The process involved interviews, surveys, creative workshops, field tests and client feedback testing. Applied Augmented Reality through 6 creative workshop sessions all with different types of stakeholders and different AR model tests. The tests involved displaying 7 different models with either different scales (large site vs. single building) or levels of detail (plain white vs. realistic materials). The 7th test was a fusion of a physical half-built model with AR façade. Each test was rated by the individual user and then totaled up so we could analyze the results. Then a lengthy questionnaire was used to help rate the overall performance of Augmented Reality.

What We Found and Why it Matters: On paper the overall performance seems consistent with traditional model-making but that ‘traditional scale models’ come across as the luxury option of the two. There appears to be massive marketing possibilities, including projecting holograms from business cards, full scale mockups allowing designers and clients to experience the building while standing in the actual environment and other spinoff ideas. The generation of Augmented Reality models is much faster, allowing multiple options to be made. With the possibility of changing materials easily it will soon be a regular design tool use at client meetings. One challenge is to keep people focused on the design and architecture instead of the software. The software is best used in SD and early DD Phase.

What’s Next?: The future will be a fusion of either half-built models or real buildings with holographic facades in design phase or during construction. One big trend at the moment is furniture holograms which you can place internally in a space, some well-known furniture manufacturers are encouraging designing in this way.

Who to contact for more information: Melanie De Cola