Gone are the days where architects need to construct a physical model to convey the design intent of a project to the client and the end user. Models were expensive to build and most of all was time-consuming. And what happens to the model once the project is completed? In most cases they were destroyed, some were used as display items that in time become outdated or damaged.
The use and development of computer graphics
As time has gone by, the use of computers and modeling software has added another useful tool to the design team. The use of computer technology has not only created a realistic and accurate image/images based on the current design but the time savings component made it a "no-brainer" decision for this as a new design tool.
The development of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has been around since the early '90s, mostly in movies and science fiction. But as the video game industry has grown and developed over the years, VR or Virtual Reality has become more than sci-fi but reality. Architects can now use virtual reality to immerse their client and end users in an environment created by a computer-generated 3-D building model with realistic finishes, equipment, furnishings, and lighting. Now a client can visualize the design before the first block is laid or stud wall erected. VR is also a benefit to the design team in that they can fine tune the design in real time based on what they see and feel in the virtual world. Since almost all of today's design work is done with modeling software, all design changes can be seen in real time based on what software the design team uses. This provides the designers and the client the most accurate and up to date model at all times.
The use of VR also aids the client in the decision making process. By allowing them to visualize the design intent of space and functionality as well as material selections and finishes, the client can now make decisions in a timely manner as well as feeling confident in those decisions.