Virtual reality was created as a training tool for the United States military. The wider possibilities for technology in gaming and education began to be realised in the 1990s. In the past decade, Virtual reality has been transformed from a complicated curiosity to a powerful tool with vast applications across multiple professions. Designers are currently on the cusp of harnessing the full potential of virtual environments in the architecture design process.
Across the UK architecture practices are starting to venture into using VR to communicate their designs to clients and planners. The technology has now reached the point where the equipment is practical and affordable. Although creating virtual environments for the headsets remains complex requires a certain amount of experience in order to effectively guide someone through using a simulation for the first time.
As designers, we must constantly adjust our skill set in order to ensure that the clients are getting the best service. The challenge that design practices are presented with is, do they devote one persons time to learn VR technology or do they employ one expert purely to do VR work?. Now there is a viable alternative, students are being exposed to virtual reality at university and can bring this knowledge with them as they progress into a professional setting.