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V. Hui1, M. Compeau2, K. Pu1, T. Arabian1

1Ryerson University (CANADA)
2Hot Pop Factory (CANADA)
The use of computer modeling and simulation tools in design programs has become ubiquitous over the past two decades yet with such incredible advances, students remain detached from the real world of bringing their designs to reality. Though photorealistic imagery, high fidelity simulation, and hyper levels of detail are possible within the virtual work environment, the translation to real world conditions remains a significant barrier for students with even the greatest of digital media skill. This is most notable within the context of architectural design. To this day there are very few accessible tools that empower designers to posit their ideas into reality and ensure an iterative design process may emerge.

This paper outlines the development and adoption of a prototype tool, tentatively dubbed Arch-Viz, that bridges this gap between the virtual and the real world contexts. Beta-tested within a second year architectural design studio in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, the Arch-Viz project has allowed students to seamlessly transition from initial design of buildings in primitive, physical models to digital CAD models, and finally at full scale in the real world using an augmented reality system. By overlaying digital model information atop real world conditions using contrast codes and geo-location, the Arch-Viz project promises to be a design and production paradigm that designers, not exclusively architects, may adopt in the future.