How Virtual and Augmented Reality Can Shape Architecture and Design

Will designers soon collaborate using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices? Image © Gensler

One of my colleagues recently shared a New York Times blog post by Strauss Zelnick, a chief executive and chairman at Take-Two Interactive Software, the makers of the popular Grand Theft Auto video games. In the post, Zelnick is quoted saying he is “interested and cautious” about the potential of virtual reality, one of the oldest wearable technologies. The post went on to discuss how virtual reality still holds great potential for the entertainment industry, even though no one is really sure what the offering might look like.

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Reimagining the San Francisco Bay Area 

Image © Douglas Wittnebel

The San Francisco Bay Area has a rich history of dreams, visions, seekers and creators. From the advent of the cable car, the microprocessor and the computer mouse to self-driving cars, Google Glass, virtual systems and garage innovations, the region has long been at the forefront of innovation and experimentation.

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How Socially Conscious Businesses Will Affect Design

People are flocking towards organizations that reflect a heightened sense of social and environmental awareness. The Sustainability Center at California State University, Northridge. Image © Gensler

One of the prime factors affecting global business is the convergence of social and commercial interests. Corporations are now dedicating significant resources to social responsibility initiatives, and while some see this shift as a public relations stunt designed to curry favor with tastemakers and media doyens, the results of such efforts speak volumes. It’s become clear that consumers gravitate towards brands that align with their personal values, and brands that make social responsibility a key tenet of their corporate ethos tend to evoke strong emotional connections with target customers.

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Five Megatrends Shaping Commercial Office Development

Tysons Corner is a perfect example of a mixed-use development that's stayed relevant by ensuring its commercial office buildings give workers what they want. Image © Gensler

We’ve heard it all before. After World War II, the Baby Boom generation escaped the city in favor of the green horizon of the suburbs, and escaped the travails of urban life. Traffic, smog, crowds and crime were to become a thing of the past.

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Design and Cultural References 

The Songhu-Sanmen Rd Pedestrian Bridge, Shanghai. Image © Gensler

As I reflect back on my 25 years with Gensler and the 50th anniversary of our firm, I am both proud and humbled by our success. When I joined in 1991 I never would have imagined being where we are today – diverse and multi-cultural with a unique perspective of the world and design.

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