The Power of Augmented Reality for Architectural Visualization

January 23, 2024



Albert Aycardo

Being able to see things differently is invaluable to any creative endeavor. Augmented reality (AR) innovations in architectural visualization pair physical interactions with digital capabilities. It treats superimposed virtual creations as fixed objects so we can view them as if they were really there.

Enhancing Our Perception of Architecture

Designers continually explore new mediums to express their architectural imagination. One of the weaknesses of typical architectural visuals, such as drawings or models, is that they are abstract representations of a project. We have to decipher and imagine how lines, symbols, and  models will turn out in the real world. It can be easy to misinterpret how the relationships between different aspects of a structure will play out. 

Move around the virtual showroom just as you would in the physical store with easy to navigate controls.

How designers translate and present those ideas can make or break a project’s success. Architects can now make their designs come alive by using virtual technology that integrates with the real world. If done right, it provides clients with  unique opportunities to immerse themselves in the designer’s vision. They can walk into an empty room and witness the end product in real time.

AR technology can also help preserve history and culture. It allows designers to replicate buildings using historical records for viewing in the present. By examining the past, designers can gain inspiration to make better decisions for future creations.

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde proposed what Manila could like in 2050. The last proposal imagines a neoliberal, functionalist future, in which augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) have pervaded the Philippine built environment.

Augmenting How Buildings Are Designed

Looking at architecture in real time through a digital lens introduces a new way of encountering spaces. Augmented reality can identify and highlight frequently observed features of buildings. It simulates details such as measurements, shapes, and other elements that have an effect on the structure to make more informed decisions. 

Use the ruler tool to easily get the dimensions of any product

As technological innovations continue to progress, work dynamics between key professions within the construction industry change. It can integrate various aspects, from engineering to aesthetics, more cohesively and synergistically. A more in-depth communication can unveil new ideas previously unseen by the naked eye.

Architects can place virtual 3D models directly on to physical plans for immediate reference. Designers can generate entire structures and clearly show the final product. You can place annotations and models directly over any building component to make documentation easier.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:

Digital overlays can directly show a structure’s inner components such as wires and plumbing.They can display layers of finishes, placement of furniture, and other details that can be difficult to understand through traditional means. You can imagine how augmented reality architecture has the potential to make collaboration during a project more streamlined and effective.

AR in Architecture

Augmented reality brings architectural visualization to life without placing a single brick. It enables designers and clients to visualize and interact with a space before it’s physically built. Hybrid perspectives between physical and digital introduce new insights and a deeper understanding of our built environments.

Read more: Rethinking Architecture in Science Fiction

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