Bora started investigating ways to incorporate VR and immersive media into our practice back in 2016, starting with 360 photography for site documentation, and adding Enscape as a tool for design and communication. In the past 3 years, the technological landscape has evolved rapidly, and gaming engines like Unreal and Unity are developing workflows more tailored to architecture.
The opportunities these technologies can offer our profession are still being discovered. As spatial thinkers and designers who work in digital models already, there are some obvious reasons to put on headsets and dive in. But we know there are other disciplines who are exploring this frontier, and the learning we do independently is strengthened when we collaborate with one another.
Up until now, VR hardware and software has been largely inaccessible outside of the design and tech industries, due to cost and awareness barriers. As more industries and civic organizations begin adopting VR, and affordability increases, it’s time to start asking some big picture questions: How do we incorporate these tools into our work in an equitable manner? How do we bring these resources to the table for communities that haven’t had the ability to access them previously, in a way that supports active participation in the placemaking process?
Bora is thrilled to be partnering with Open Signal: Portland Community Media Center to explore these questions and more for Design Week Portland 2019! On April 9, come and explore a series of Virtual Reality exhibits, one from Bora, and one by collaborators from VANPORT MOSAIC, followed by a panel discussion with folks from Portland State University, ZGF Architects and more on how to incorporate VR into the community visioning and planning process of urban design.
Click here to learn more, and we hope to see you there!