Evolution of Visualization in Architecture

Architecture has undergone a significant evolution over the years. Initially, plans were manually drafted on large boards, and spaces were visualized through sketches and drawings. These methods were used to produce the large-scale magnificent buildings that are still admired today. However, with the advancement of technology, the field of architecture has undergone a transformation.

In the 1980s, the slow advancement of technology introduced computer-aided design (CAD) which greatly facilitated the creation of complicated technical drawings. Soon after, programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud emerged, allowing for the digitalization of hand-drawn sketches that were previously created on paper. This led to clearer presentations of architectural designs, which improved communication and collaboration between architects and clients.

The advent of 3D rendering software, such as 3DS Max, V-Ray, and Lumion, further advanced the field by allowing for more realistic visualizations of spaces, elevations, sections, and plans. Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology has since extended this capability even further, allowing for real-time visualization of spaces. These tools have drastically changed the way architects and designers work today, and the field continues to evolve with the incorporation of Extended Reality (XR) technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

3D visualization has greatly improved the way architects communicate, making the process of creating projects and designs faster, more efficient, and providing a better overall visualization of the design. With the use of advanced computer-generated imagery (CGI) tools, each stage of the design and construction process for architectural projects has been accelerated. Architects are now able to make changes to plans and elevations before construction, which results in cost and time savings. In a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), it was reported that the use of BIM technology in design and construction can lead to a 4-5% reduction in overall project costs. The selection of materials, internal planning, and interior design have also become more efficient with improved communication and collaboration between architects and clients. In a report published by MarketsandMarkets, the global 3D rendering and visualization software market is projected to reach $3.3 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 11.5% during the forecast period 2016 to 2022.

Virtual Reality (VR) technology provides a multisensory, immersive experience of an artificially simulated 360-degree view reality presented through a headset. This technology allows for the creation of digital environments and buildings, providing a better comprehension of the project. Through VR, architects and other parties involved can work on a project simultaneously, and clients can take virtual tours of the design within its digital environment. In a study by the Virtual Reality Society, it was reported that the global VR market is projected to reach $44.7 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 42.8% during the forecast period 2018 to 2024.

Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) allows clients to experience designs in a more immersive way, and has become an important tool for impressing clients and improving customer experience. AR technology allows clients to experience the design in its intended environment, providing a better understanding of scale, dimensions, and proportions. This not only improves the client experience, but also prevents mistakes beforehand and builds an architecture portfolio for future clients. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global AR market is projected to reach $198 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 52.5% during the forecast period 2020 to 2025.

Overall, the advancements in technology have greatly impacted the field of architecture, from the way designs are created and communicated, to the way they are experienced by clients. As technology continues to