News - 19 June 2019

Presenting Hyperform: A New Virtual Design Platform

UNStudio, Squint/Opera and BIG are developing Hyperform, a revolutionary data driven design tool that allows architects and planners across the world to collaborate in augmented reality. With Hyperform, users can immerse themselves in their virtual 3D work environment.

Imagine a virtual workshop space where site images, maps, data and 3D models can be uploaded, viewed and manipulated in collaboration. Where users can interact with scale models on the virtual work table, or immerse themselves at 1:1 scale - allowing the entire project team to experience the consequences of their design decisions.

For architects, Hyperform creates a sense of play around different forms and spaces that can be created, expanding the potential of space in a fun way. While for clients and local community stakeholders, Hyperform allows for an understanding of design iterations that can only be experienced from within; at real scale, as opposed to examining a rendering or a model. Through this immersive design experience, stakeholders can experience the value of the spaces they are investing in, creating a better collaboration across stakeholder groups. By enabling designers from locations across the globe to come together to discuss and develop ideas, Hyperform reduces the need for physical travel to meetings. In short: Hyperform enables designers to make better decisions faster.

A first prototype of Hyperform was built in 2018 and has since been tested with several architects. From this research Squint/Opera, BIG and UNStudio have consolidated the key features to develop this product for the industry. These include:

- Access to all available data sets for the selected geo-location including maps, historical images, planning regulations, legal restrictions, environmental and social data.

- Multi-user and multi-platform functionality.

- Ability to produce stills renders and record videos in the application.

Hyperform is currently showcased as part of BIG’s FORMGIVING exhibition which opened at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen on 12 June.

"Virtual Reality, beyond being a tool for communication, has major impacts for architecture at every stage along the lifecycle of a building. The promise of the Hyperform research is that it brings computational design and VR together, creating additional dimensions to the value of space: from the design process through to the experience of a completed project. It will allow us to create more relevant, purposeful designs that are more user-centric, where form follows effect. From material choices to massing designs, we can make more informed designs together, and witness the direct consequences of those decisions. As all spaces are digital, VR allows for a more efficient, sustainable and portable workflow. "

Ben van Berkel