Three Ways VR is Changing our Design Approach


While virtual reality (VR) isn’t a new technology, the ways the technology is being used to communicate design intent and convey space is. 3D modeling and rendering, 3D printing, VR single point and walkthroughs are transforming design and architecture at Curtis Miner Architecture. Whether it’s one or two of these tools or a combination, we are implementing technology into our practice in these meaningful ways:

Sharing design intent – The ability to communicate design intent and convey space through technology is impactful. As architects, it’s always been easier to show a client what a building will look like and more challenging to get a sense of how it will feel. With virtual reality, 2D drawings and renderings are now brought to life. In completing the Deseret First Credit Union Operations Facility, we used sophisticated photo-real renderings and VR scenes as early as schematic design to get a virtual feel of the space.


Photo-Real Rendering of Deseret First Credit Union Operations Facility

Decision-making and coordination – We recognize the limited funds and fiscal responsibility a city has to its citizens when constructing a new public safety building. That’s why introducing visualization tools into our programming efforts with Lehi City Police Facility stakeholders was so meaningful. CMA has incorporated 3D printing and VR into the design of the building to define building elements and meet the project budget. We are using 3D models to clarify building massing and proportions as well as the location of the building on the site.


3D Printed Model of Lehi Police Station


Rendering of Lehi Police Station

Efficiencies – Placing our clients three-dimensionally in a space accentuates and accelerates design and communication. The feedback process is more straightforward and so are design revisions. We received valuable and actionable feedback instantaneously when Bank of American Fork visited our office. Hearing the words “we need a window in that office” from the client in a VR scene instead of on the job site saves real time and money.

Whether in an in-house team meeting, a client presentation or design review, we are using technology to explain ideas and concepts, engage, and collaborate to fulfill a client’s vision.