IIDA NY Explores Virtual Reality at Pioneering Design Event

IIDA NY Explores Virtual Reality at Pioneering Design Event

On Monday, April 3rd, the New York Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA NY) hosted its 19th annual "Pioneering Design" lecture series, led by Caitlin Burns, a transmedia producer and the Vice Chair of the Producers' Guild of America.

The event, held at the Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, focused on immersive design and how this new, ever-changing field is breaking through the barriers of the entertainment industry into the real world. The lecture touched on new breakthrough technologies in virtual and augmented reality, as well as the ways it creates a two-way street between designer and audience, fostering collaboration and paving the way for the future of the design industry.

One of the ways design will be influenced is by the ability to showcase two-dimensional work in three dimensions with virtual modelling technology. By turning CAD models into environments or placing products into real world spaces with augmented reality, designers now can express their projects in ways previously confined to a screen. "When you can take someone and have them walk around in your idea, not only can you test it differently, but you can inspire them in different ways," said Burns.

Burns has also predicted, by all estimates, that there will be a point where we skip right past virtual reality and head straight into augmented reality. In reports by Goldman Sachs and Deloitte, the market for augmented reality is estimated to be $120 Billion by 2020, and Burns believes that it has a potential presence in a variety of different industries. "The applications of augmented reality are so much broader; it's a world where more people are already living."

With technology that can enable us to transport to fictional worlds, go through experiences without peril or danger, and allow us to travel to places that may not even exist anymore, there are questions of uncertainty that arise. What happens when we can all live in customizable worlds or how do we create worlds in a way that we're enhancing the beauty this world holds, without hiding things in society that are essential to see? Burns says, "It's a question that is important for everyone right now...but the value of art, design and expression is still going to be desireable."

Photos: Courtesy of IIDA NY