Virtual reality to the rescue

Gautam Tewari exposes a resulting paradigm shift in the pedagogy of architecture through immersive technology

Technology has been helping the growth of different industries in various shapes and forms. In the ongoing pandemic, technology has acted as a catalyst to strengthen work patterns. Although it is quite slow, the adoption of technology in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry is not new, but the same cannot be said about design education. Over the years, design education has shunned the adaptation and application of technology. However, the current pandemic has not only forced educational institutes to adopt technology, but has also created an environment that encourages their growth. As design institutes catch up with technological advances, virtual reality offers a robust and future-ready complement to design education that, in turn, allows for a skills-intensive curriculum for students. universities and students to be better prepared for a digital security career.

Immersive technology offers great potential to bridge this gap by improving design understanding and allowing students to virtually experiment with their creations. Not only does it allow for real-time, real-time modifications and iterations to scale, but it also provides relief from tedious back-and-forth design processes. This allows students to freely explore the realm of design. Various collaborative solutions also allow students to be guided by teachers through these explorations or even collaborate with each other for group tasks.

While the current curriculum creates profound thinkers and designers, students often find themselves challenged when faced with technology in the professional field. Young designers have difficulty finding the right tools to communicate design to their clients or superiors, leading to career growth. Adapting technologies such as virtual reality to the curriculum is a step towards overcoming this gap. Not only does it create a better understanding of immersive technology, but it also encourages students to analyze its importance in professional practice. Lack of access to works and practice experts prevents students from generating a complete understanding of the construction products and technologies available in the industry. The use of digital twins created by construction product manufacturers on various virtual reality platforms is a great way for students to keep abreast of new industry trends as well as improve their knowledge of available construction products. .

Immersive technology platforms offer a myriad of tools that would allow students to gain a complete and practical design experience through easy and informed modifications and discussions with design mentors. Current methods leave students and mentors disabled by not allowing product exploration as well as real-time design options. Therefore, the use of technology creates a transparent discussion process, to create a better feedback mechanism for an improved and efficient understanding of the design.

By applying virtual reality, the understanding of design can be revolutionized by moving from static methods of design presentation, such as 2D drawings and 3D images, to a more dynamic interactive experience that is true to scale and proportion. In addition, by connecting the design fraternity with construction product manufacturers, immersive technology provides the tools and platforms needed not only to strengthen design communication within academia, but also to extend opportunities for design. learning beyond academic circles, allowing students to become familiar with the latest construction products. , industry trends. Therefore, a technologically supported curriculum becomes the ideal complement to a robust education system that will prepare students for the professional world in an improved way, increasing their skill set and subsequent employability, all this through a first digital career.

Design education has faced several challenges, such as the lack of comprehensive design learning and technology-based curricula. Exhausted systems and curricula have often become obsolete and have lost their relevance, leading to low employability and a low-skilled workforce. Immersive and collaborative technology such as virtual reality can provide precision in the operation and communication between students and faculties, offering a comprehensive technological solution that ensures efficiency in communication and learning. The pandemic not only offers an opportunity to rethink and redefine our educational methodologies, but also allows us to reinvent them by incorporating technology as we return to remote learning. Immersive technology creates a digital and future-ready workforce that will revolutionize the design industry in the near future.

(The author is the co-creator of Trezi, a fully immersive virtual reality product that transforms design communication and collaboration in the construction industry.)

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