Our John McAllister has authored a new piece for Athletic Business focused on how “Virtual Reality (VR) Can Help Design Better Athletic Facilities.” In the article, McAllister focuses on his team’s work with the University of Southern Indiana Physical Activities Center and a recent donor presentation that relied on a VR model. As McAllister notes, “we created both an animation and a VR tour. It ended up being one of the most rewarding design presentations of my life.”
McAllister goes on to talk about how VR models can strengthen engagement and communication during a project’s life, increase assurance of outcomes and positively impact decision making, cost control and brand building. Below is a brief excerpt from the piece and the full article can be read online.
On engagement & communications
Walking the group at USI through the VR model was less of a presentation and more of a discussion. When the donors or USI staff had questions about a certain aspect of the design, we stopped, looked at it, pointed out how it was different and didn’t move on until we’d fully resolved the question. The VR model generated more questions and more engagement than when we present renderings or a quick fly-through. This not only leads to a more engaged audience, but their questions resonate. There were new ideas and suggestions brought up during our presentation that will affect the final product and I don’t think all of them would have surfaced during a more traditional presentation.
On decision making & cost control
Given that VR fosters better communication during the design and construction of an athletic facility, the technology also accelerates decision making and saves both time and costs. Every time a designer uses a VR model to show their client how a certain space will function and they can eliminate needing to create a new rendering or schedule a future meeting – they move a step closer toward delivering the project on schedule and on budget. While the creation of VR models may require a few more resources up front, expenditure of those resources absolutely pays higher dividends as a project progresses.