Global architecture and design firm NBBJ recently announced a new business partnership with startup Visual Vocal to incubate and develop a breakthrough virtual reality (VR) productivity platform. The new tool will allow distributed project stakeholders to immerse themselves into unbuilt environments and provide instantaneous feedback to inform a collaborative design process.
Currently, distributed teams design buildings using 3D modeling software. But when it comes time to share those designs with clients, traditional communication methods such as email often result in time-consuming and inconclusive rounds of feedback. By combining VR with mobile and cloud-based communications platforms, the new tool has the potential to transform workflows within the architecture industry and beyond.
“NBBJ’s decision to launch Visual Vocal is representative of our ongoing mission to find more informative and inspiring ways to engage clients in the design process. This partnership will radically shift the way design feedback is sourced and integrated into projects, and the speed at which it can be done,” said NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell, FAIA.
NBBJ and Visual Vocal will leverage current-generation VR and augmented reality (AR) systems, with a near-term focus on mobile VR platforms for optimal accessibility and scale. While a number of firms in the design industry have examined the promise of VR, this partnership marks the first instance of an established design firm incubating a VR startup inside its own offices and developing new tools to improve decision-making and remove waste from the design process.
Visual Vocal will launch the beta version of its platform as an NBBJ exclusive later in 2016, and NBBJ will pilot.
For more information, visit nbbj.com or visualvocal.com.