Beyond Three Dimensions | 跨越三維空間
Virtual Reality (VR) technologies bring great advantages as a transferable skill to designers, they are also a new medium to communicate concepts and realise creative visions. Viewing a design in VR requires the audience to put on a 3D display headset that completely covers one’s field of vision to create a sense of ‘immersion’. The visuals will appear highly realistic, as if putting the audience in a ‘first-person’ view situated at the building site. Apart from the sense of depth, it further mimics the senses of light, texture and scale, that would otherwise be impossible to replicate with traditional plan drawings and 3D renderings. This breaks the communication barrier between visually proficient designers and result-driven clients (who is often less proficient in visual imagination), and encourages more collaboration between the two.
As a collaborator in「DesignXcel」with first-hand knowledge in VR, UFO conducted a 4-hour intensive course with interior design freshmasonry Gabriel. Using the professional software ‘Unity’, Gabriel learned to present his project in the format of VR.
Gabriel’s design is conceived as and intended to be a building to accommodate the staff of the Chinese embassy in Santiago, Chile. The concept revolves around cultural migration and is inspired by the ‘Da Zha Yuan’, a building style derived from the traditional ‘Shi He Yuan’ or courtyard house. The design takes a vertical cluster of volumes and spaces, which remind us of a dense urban environment in constant transformation. The massiveness of the structure alludes to the Chinese monumental architecture, and the textural and light qualities also bring a sense of solemnity to the cube.
This project is presented at its conceptual stage as an exploration of spatial relationships derived from the cultural collisions that took place during migration. The virtual environment uses an abstract representation of the city as a series of volumes and open areas are meant to remind visitors of a self-contained city. However, this city has an ambiguous identity, which makes the viewers feel uneasy about navigating through it. Virtual reality is used here to represent the abstract ideas of the design before it materialises. It is a way to provoke imagination in the viewers, allowing them to anticipate the final outcome.
Hui Kwan Lung, Gabriel
Unity Future Optimizer (UFO) Company Limited 優孚奧有限公司
Raffles Design Institute (Hong Kong)