How Virtual Reality Impacts the Role of Interior Designers

11:32 03 August in Expert Advice, Interior Design

The role of an interior designer

Throughout time, as society, industrial processes and the architectural landscape has evolved, the complexity in the design of interior environments has increased. The efficient use of space, user well-being and functional design has each contributed to the development of contemporary interior designer’s practices. The industry has therefore demanded interior designers with more focused expertise. With skill-sets pertaining to the consideration of interior structures, materials, cabinetry, spatial planning, ergonomics, regulatory compliance, facilities management, lighting, as well as plumbing layout and fixtures within the built environment. Interior designers must therefore be conversant in a variety of disciplines across architecture and decoration; alongside being well versed in dealing with plumbers, electricians, contractors, architects, woodworkers, furniture manufacturers, city planners and government officials, to name a few.

How virtual reality has impacted the interior design industry example with Vectorworks. Image courtesy of Creneau International.

Historically, interior design relied heavily on drawing skills, intuition and the costly process of trial and error. Time-consuming constructions of physical scale models, room ‘staging’ and painstakingly hand-drawn plans were all stages which increased time, effort and cost whilst decreasing efficiency and accuracy. Hand-in-hand with the developing scope and sophistication of interior design as a profession, technology has unsurprisingly furthered the evolution of the interior designer’s role and design process. With the birth of augmented reality, 3D virtual landscapes, new styles, expectations and standards of interior design, designers need to stay abreast of advanced technologies to prepare for the prosperous and thriving future of this diverse industry.

The birth of virtual reality

With the assistance of virtual reality software; projects, designs and concepts can be brought to life prior to execution, so no need to start breaking ground or buying materials. Giving designers the ability to finalise details through effective planning and visual conceptualisations means that project viability can be determined much earlier in the process. These detailed and explicit plans can then be accurately communicated to contractors and construction teams. It is therefore not merely a high-tech replacement of traditional pen and paper, but a technique which augments the designer’s capabilities; offering new ways of drafting and enhancing the design development to achieve operational efficiency.

To get some insight regarding the use of virtual reality software, we spoke with Rubina Siddiqui, Product Marketing Manager for Architecture at Vectorworks, Inc. Vectorworks offer a line of industry-specific 2D/3D design and BIM software solutions that allows designers to advance their ideas from concept through to completion.

“We work closely with a range of interior design practices and retail designers to help them make the most of their software, keep their processes as efficient as possible, and ensure new members of their teams are productive as quickly as possible” said Siddiqui. With more than half a million users transforming the world with Vectorworks every day, Rubina shared the top 6 reasons why designers use Vectorworks Architect.

Vectorworks article on interior design blog: Image courtesy of Stefan Kornmeier Innenausbau & Konstruktion Zell a.H

Top 6 Reasons Designers Choose Vectorworks Architect for Interior Design

1. Efficient Planning Tools

You can save time while you design with a wide variety of tools, including:

  • Best-in-the-industry 2D and 3D graphics to augment your designs with transparencies and gradients.
  • The integrated capabilities of Renderworks®, powered by MAXON CineRender, to help you design, document, and communicate with your clients from a single platform.
  • Comprehensive content libraries with furniture and fixtures from brands like Herman Miller, Kohler, and Knoll.

2. Creative Modeling Solutions

Vectorworks’ intuitive interface lets you design from every 3D view with an advanced suite of solids and NURBS surface tools to create any shape. SmartCursorTM technology gives you hints to design more accurately. Also, subdivision surface modeling tools let you transform primitive shapes into malleable surfaces, so you can craft sculpted objects, custom furniture, and more.

3. Powerful Presentations

Vectorworks’ wide range of graphical tools lets you present your designs effectively while maintaining your own personal style. Featuring best-in-industry 2D and 3D graphics, Vectorworks gives you the ability to augment your designs with transparencies and gradients and millions of colors to choose from, including Pantone and NCS Color.

4. Seamless Collaboration

Vectorworks has the most import and export options of any BIM or CAD application. Using industry standard file formats such as DWG, you can communicate effectively with your consultants and collaborators. Vectorworks supports SKP, IFC, Revit, PDF, EPS, JPG, and TIF, as well as Panorama, Collada, and many more.

5. Easy-to-Learn Platform

Do what you like to do best – design! Vectorworks’ customizable interface and what-you-see-is-what-you-get display make it easier to learn and use than standard design applications. With preconfigured, parametric 3D building objects in an intuitive drawing interface, you can decide whether your design is two-or three-dimensional. No matter what you’re switching from, the Vectorworks interface will seem familiar.

They also offer many resources to help you get up to speed with the software, including online and in-person training, webinars, getting started guides, YouTube videos, and much more. Premier services are available such as Vectorworks Service Select; a maintenance agreement that provides customers with several added benefits including immediate upgrade of new product releases, the best pricing, priority technical support, VIP access to downloads, and an always-growing library of on-demand learning tutorials.

6. Stay Ahead of the Curve

Vectorworks is advancing the use of emerging technologies and making them accessible to everyone. With capabilities like AR and VR, point cloud, photogrammetry, and cloud services, you won’t merely keep up with the latest technologies, you’ll stay one step ahead.

Image courtesy of VITRA GmbH for Vectorworks article on interior design blog: Image courtesy of VITRA GmbH.

With all of this considered – the flexibility, creative freedom, widespread accessibility and connectivity of platforms; the accuracy and speed of producing designs; and the value in creating to-scale projects – designers and clients are able to fully visualise the outcome before committing to costly renovations and large scale construction work. This can significantly aid project development in the early stages of conception, therefore offering a practical and effective solution which allows designers to fully explore the technical and aesthetic considerations of a design scheme. The ability to experiment with different design decisions, from colours and patterns to surfaces, styles and furnishings helps to fine tune the creative vision at the click of a button; in turn achieving optimum visual impact.

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