AR in Urban planning and Architecture
Planners today use drawings, maps and models to present projects and proposals of change to authorities and the public. These means of communication utilise abstract symbols and require expert knowledge and experience for full comprehension.
Due to this there exists a common problem of understanding scale, quality and implications of proposed buildings, structures and urban projects. As a result politicians, decision-makers and the public often have expectations based on their interpretation of the presented material that differ from or exceed the qualities of the realised projects. In addition to the immediate problems that can arise from miscommunication and misunderstanding of plans and proposals, we can add the problem for the democratic process; where decisions are made regarding our environment. New methods for enhancing the possibility for civil society to participate in the process of shaping, amongst others, the urban environment could contribute to the quality of local level governance.
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
AHO is an autonomous institution within the Norwegian university system and one of the leading schools and research institutions in the field of architecture, urbanism and industrial design in the Nordic countries. Thematically AHO is divided into four institutes, Architecture, Urbanism, Industrial Design, and Form, Theory, and History, each of which is responsible for teaching and research in their respective subject areas. As part of the curriculum AHO has developed expertise at a high international level in the area of visual representation applied to the built environment.
Institute for Energy Technology (IFE)
IFE is an international research institute for energy and nuclear technology. IFE’s mandate is to undertake research and development, on an ideal basis and for the benefit of society, within the Energy and Petroleum sector and to carry out assignments in the field of nuclear technology for the nation. The institute will increasingly concentrate on safety and environmental research within these fields.
IFE has though a number of years developed Augmented Reality (AR) technology that is believed to be suited for a number of viable commercial applications in such as automation, maintainance, planning and entertainment and culture. Some of these consepts require further research before they can be realized; some depend on complex processes with the end user; and some on both.
AHO and IFE has been successfully cooperating in the field of virtual- and augmented reality since 2003. This work has also been formally approved in two signed agreements in 2003 and 2005. ar-lab is the working name of the cooperation which covers further research and commercial application of the AR technology in the field of urban planning and design.
We believe this work will have great impact on the planning process when monumental structures are being projected. Technology has been developed and tested which provides both planners and decisionmakers with a full scale view of a proposed structure (building, windmill park) on site, from a natural perspective, without having to construct a complete virtual world.