Virtual reality is steadily spilling over into the design industry and is already changing how we create.

The technology’s potential (and its limitations) for designers is what spurred the architecture firm NBBJ to collaborate with the startup Visual Vocal. Together, the two companies are building a virtual reality platform for architects, designed to make it easier to collaborate and make decisions about projects.

3059341-slide-5-virtual-reality-has-a-new-function-productivity-toolIn the architectural realm, one of the biggest challenges is getting feedback from clients and integrating that into a workable design. Take a project at the scale of Samsung’s new Silicon Valley campus, which NBBJ designed. It involved dozens of people, all with varying fluency in architecture. Just getting everyone in a meeting to discuss one of likely hundreds of design decisions is time consuming and difficult. Plus, using visual devices like renderings, floor plans, and models isn’t always an effective way to convey spaces.

Enter virtual reality, a technology that offers people the experience of being in a 3-D environment. See full story.