The Digital Technologies Department at Herzog & de Meuron is not developing VR hardware nor low-level software, it would probably fall into the category of early VR adopters. In the talk Steffen & Mikołaj will explore some thoughts about where and how they see potential for this technology as tool in the architectural practice. Currently HdM is using VR in a growing number of projects. In doing so, they’ve discovered different variations and degrees of virtual reality and its possible application in the design process. VR comes in many different “flavours”. Many of them are currently overlooked, as the of majority of users is turning their attention to high-end and photo realistic scenes for presentation mode. However they are trying to explore the value of VR as a design tool as well, rather than for pure representation.
Analogies can be drawn to other design tools like, sketching, drafting, classic visualisation and especially to physical model making. Physical and digital models allow them to work with varying degrees of abstraction. Using models makes it possible to investigate many different aspects of the design and construction process. Jumping between scales and levels of detail can be seen as one approach to focus on certain aspects of the design. HdM often studies space, materiality, light, scale or assembly of components in purpose-built models. In the same way they see great potential for the application of VR in project teams at all stages – not only presentations. The equipment needed is becoming broadly accessible, both in terms of hardware and software. This talk will illustrate how VR at Herzog & de Meuron started, progressed, and where it’s heading now.
Steffen Riegas – Head Digital Technologies – Herzog & de Meuron
Steffen Riegas joined Herzog & de Meuron in 2010 as an architect in the Digital Technologies Group (DT), which supports project teams with the integration of digital tools in design and building processes. Working in this role on various projects, he was particularly involved in the realization of the Messe Basel New Hall and the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. After two years gaining experience in other international offices he became Head Digital Technologies in September 2014.
Steffen graduated from the Muenster School of Architecture in 2007. Prior to his collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron, he gained experience working with UNStudio in Amsterdam and 3XN in Copenhagen. He continues to lecture at universities and conducts workshops on the application of digital design tools in the architectural practice.
Mikolaj Bazaczek – Visual Artist (VR) – Digital Technologies – Herzog & de Meuron
Mikolaj Bazaczek is an architect, programmer, web designer and photographer. He joined the Digital Technologies Group (DT) in 2015 as VR developer to support the team of Visual Artists, to push this technology further and help to integrate it into the design processes in the projects.
Studying architecture at the University of Technology in Gdańsk; Poland he pursued his interest in computers and games, especially games, that allowed him to build virtual worlds