Space sensation – Squint/Opera on the future of visualisation

9 March, 2020

Creative digital studio and consultancy, Squint/Opera was the winner of the inaugural Alan Davidson Award. Here they explain why realtime technology is changing the way architects design

How is mixed reality changing the way you work?

VR is allowing us to test how content can be received in the real world. For example, we recently delivered a film for an immersive experience with Airbus and MVRDV that is played on a circular, concave screen, and VR was an important part of our planning process to deliver immersive content for this bespoke screen.  SpaceForm is another design tool we developed that acts as a virtual project room where all the project information is available digitally. 3D models, site images, maps and data can be uploaded, viewed and manipulated in collaboration with others. It enables designers to make better decisions faster and reduces the need for physical travel to meetings.

Do visualisers help or hinder our understanding of cities?

For the first time in history, real-time visualisation allows us to experience a spatial sensation of a project before its built. We can feel the difference between light and dark finishing, ceiling height and so on. This ability to feel and experience the spatial sensation of a space that doesn’t exist yet is completely changing the way we design and review projects in the built environment.

Where do you see the industry in 10 years time and what are the challenges?

Visual studios will need to offer more than making pretty pictures and more than films, we think gaming will be used as a way of presenting architectural ideas. So, keeping up with the inevitable realtime tech shifts will be the next huge challenge that many companies will have to face.

The Alan Davidson Award is open to architectural visualisers and studios. Images must be available to view online. The Archiboo Awards will be launched in May 2020.