Vahid Vahdat Zad
Virtual high-rise buildings, visible only on tablets and phone screens, towered over a physical model of East Downtown Houston in an exhibit staged recently at the Langford Architecture Center by students in a third-year Texas A&M environmental design studio.
The renderings, multistory structures offering residential, commercial, public and parking space, hovered over the neighborhood model like holographic images that could be view from alternate angles or manually manipulated on the screen.
The students, led by Vahid Vahdat Zad, visiting architecture lecturer, teamed with the student group, Texas A&M Virtual and Augmented Reality, to create the virtual high-rise structures.
For viewers, the end result is simple: hold a mobile device over a QR code, tap, and the virtual design appears.
It’s a great way to present a project to a client, said student Luis Rubio of Arlington, Texas. “In a standard rendering, clients only get to see one side of a design at a time, but this way they get to see a full rotational view.”
In this approach, clients can also see multiple proposals without designers creating several time-consuming, expensive physical models, said Vahdat Zad.
The renderings also help students better analyze how their design interacts with its surroundings, he said.