What's so interesting about seeing an architectural model in AR?
Well for those of you that haven't come across the technology, it's a really interesting medium to describe the narrative behind the design process in an interactive manner. ARki was a starting point to see how we could take all these architectural models that exist already in every design firm and convert them into tools which allow the user to explore the design in a more immersive way. Ideally the challenge was predominantly concerned with design communication of architectural drawings, and how you could package architectural models for a mass audience. We weren't just concerned with illustrating 3-D models in augmented reality alone, the main focus of this product was to create bespoke interactive solutions that really explain the narrative of the design in an innovative way.
Over the last 12 months we have had lots of interesting projects that have allowed us to push the boundaries of what is actually possible within augmented reality architectural visualisation. Of course the main challenge has been to do with the fact that architects don't really work with low polygon models and we spend the majority of our time trying to optimise these very complex high detail models down to something which can be converted into AR. But putting technicalities aside the main challenge for us is always on how we can create interactive environments that truly describe the key functionalities of each architectural design in real-time.
The main question I guess is why is ARki more useful than traditional visualisation techniques? And why does making an augmented reality app demonstrate the building any better than an animation or 2-D visual? Well usually I would answer that question by simply asking architects to have fun exploring the app, followed by 10 to 15 minutes of playtime....
For those who have had the experience of playing with the App you know that ARki is in fact pretty self explanatory, but for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of downloading ARki, let me take this opportunity to break down some of the fundamental perks of this app.
So like any standard 3-D animation, ARki is capable of demonstrating pretty much any form of animation that is already achievable within traditional architectural visualisation with the added bonus that you get to control these animations in real-time. That means you can demonstrate any key parameter that is unique to the design such as solar shading, wind circulation, design options, material options, sustainability and so much more at the click of a button, or in this case at the click of multiple buttons depending on how many features you want to showcase. On top of this, you get to view these models at any scale, anywhere in physical space, and in any angle you wish to experience the building, because for the first time since physical model making was invented, your ARki models exist in Augmented Reality, superimposed virtual models in the real-world, because funny enough Architects really do enjoy viewing their building designs from all sorts of funny angles.
Don't believe us? well why not take this opportunity to find out for your self by downloading ARki on the app store and let us know what you think....
ARki on the App store
We have had lots of fun with ARki so far and every project has brought tons of new potential for the platform in general. The main highlight for us has been being able to add new interactivity features that are unique to each project, and it's really exciting to see how each feature described the narrative of the design from a new perspective. Looking forward to many more years of ARki mayhem.
For more information please visit the ARki project page.
Each project has allowed us to explore interesting interactivity features which highlight certain design considerations specific for each project. Above is a screenshot of a small portion of a master-plan proposal by OAOA, and in this project we got to incorporate a number of new functions including ecotect data, program analysis, and multiple design options.
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