Speaking about virtual reality

Johan HanegraafNewsLeave a Comment

Johan Hanegraaf speaking at IM-ARCH

Over the past months I have been busy presenting my vision for immersive technologies at conferences in ItalyCanadaUK, SingaporeTaiwan, Denmark and the Netherlands. We still have a long way to go before our industry becomes aware of the full potential of virtual reality, so I’m keen to spread the word and show designers and enthousiast around the world how this technology can be used to enhance the way we design our surroundings.

I often start my talks with slides showing how architectural communication has changed over the last years. As architects we design and talk about space all the time, but perception of space is often something personal one must experience in (virtual) reality to understand. Traditionally our communication has been done using scale models, drawings and images presented on flat prints and screens. It will just be a matter of time until immersive technologies like VR/AR will be used to bring spatial communication into our day to day work. You can read more about this in my interview on Designboom.

Johan Hanegraaf speaking at IM-ARCH

speaking at IM-ARCH in Venice may 2017

Three decades of design technology

We came a long way from using pencil sketches to our modern software used today, but many architecture firms still find it difficult to keep up with all these new technologies that develop faster every year. Fortunately virtual reality is easy to adapt and use as long as your office has some quality 3D applications. One of the key takeouts during my talks and consults is that Building Information Modeling will help to make a smoother transition to virtual reality as it offers tools that automate the conversion process and live link your 3D data to the VR hardware in the market today.

Johan Hanegraaf-design will be immersive-design technology

past design technology innovations for architects


traditional 2D-3D architectural design process

traditional architectural design process


Virtual architectural design process

Virtual architectural design process


speaking about Revit for design competitions on BILT USA 2017

speaking about Revit for design competitions on BILT USA 2017

This year I found my passion for tech is reaching beyond my everyday work at Mecanoo. I enjoy teaching professionals and students the crafts of using computation and new technologies to enhance the design process. The above picture shows me teaching a class of architects in Toronto during the BILT North America conference on using Revit to automate the creation of nicer looking diagrams and drawings from your designs. Our architects and engineers at Mecanoo have embraced working in BIM during design competitions, allowing a better global collaboration of our teams, and raising the quality and feasibility of our designs in an early stage. On the picture below I am teaching a class of about 200 architecture and engineering students at the Feng Chia University in Taiwan where I showed how design technologies used at Mecanoo can also be used to enhance their work.

Speaking about VR and BIM at the Feng Chia University in Taichung Taiwan

Speaking about VR and BIM at the Feng Chia University in Taichung Taiwan

As the hype settles down it becomes clear virtual reality is here to stay, but it will need time to mature in the architecture industry. This could be speedup if more developers, applications and hardwares are used to create these new tools. I try to raise awareness and spread knowledge on this subject, but unfortunately there are only a few (spatial minded) coders and software developers out there that like to create VR applications beyond gaming and viewing of 3D models. If you are a developer that worked on a VR design application yourself feel free to reach out as I would love to share some insights!

Unity VR development class

Unity VR development workshop for professionals and postgraduates on IM-ARCH

Sharing  knowledge

This year I gave a number of lectures about advanced Revit topics, Dynamo and Unity VR development. If you are interested in these workshops, talks or demos for your office or university feel free to contact me for inquiries and gain some valuable insights to implement the latest technologies in your daily work. Any income for these talks and classes will be used to support the development of ArchiSpace, so the application can stay free to use by everyone who wants to pioneer with new spatial design tools.

I’m getting allot of energy from the positive shares from designers, engineers and developers on these events. So thank you all whom I had the pleasure to meet and connect over the past months. I got some valuable feedback on ArchiSpace’s functionality, controls and UI during these demo’s. And I’m happy to see there are many passionate professionals in our industry that are teaching and contributing to more open and accessible tools for designers.

ArchiSpace development

Unfortunately the recent hype and activities gave me less time to focus on the development of ArchiSpace, so the alpha release will likely be delayed till start of next year (2018). I’m currently working on improving the stability and functionality while adding some great new modelling features that I will share with you soon. Keep an eye on this blog or subscribe to the ArchiSpace newsletter to learn when and how we can bring immersive architectural modeling to the next level! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.