WDG Architects brings virtual reality to the design process
LAS CRUCES – David and Wendy Clarke are ushering in a new kind of design process in the Las Cruces architectural market and couldn’t be more excited about it.
The Clarkes were looking for a new challenge when they bought WDG Architects from its founder two years ago. “I had attended an inspiring business conference and had the entrepreneurship bug,” said David. “I knew Gary Williams, the founder of WDG, was interested in retiring but wanted the business to continue, and we were able to come to an agreement and get into this very successful business.”
Soon after, the Clarkes were again inspired to introduce a whole new way of serving their customers. Taking inspiration from the world of virtual gaming, they take advantage of the latest three-dimensional modeling software to bring their clients’ designs to life.
“A lot of companies use 3D computer-aided design software to create architectural drawings, but we’re taking it a step further,” said David Clarke, AIA and the company’s lead architect. “We give our customers a pair of 3D glasses so they can ‘go into’ their design. “
Rather than looking at a two-dimensional drawing, their clients can now look at their plans as if they were inside the new building itself. “They can look up, down and around and see all the details – what the walls, flooring and furniture will look like, how the fixtures they have chosen will illuminate a room and how sunlight will appear. actually through the windows, ”said Wendy Clarke, David’s wife and managing partner.
WDG used the concept of virtual reality to convey designs for several projects, including the new Mountain View medical building, the Las Cruces Amador project, and the United Presbyterian Church.
“The first time our customers put on the glasses and are immersed in the design, they are almost shocked by the effect,” said Wendy. “Astonishment is the best way to describe their reaction.”
Wow factor aside, the Clarkes have extended VR into their design workflow because of the other important benefits it brings to their clients. “Helping customers visualize their design in a ‘real world’ allows them to verify that it is what they expected to see and if not, make the necessary changes while we are still in the design phase. of work, ”said David Clarke.
The software makes real-time edits, such as adding windows or moving walls in real time, and rendering them to all different design planes much faster and easier so they don’t accidentally get missed. . “This means that our customers no longer wait for revised designs,” he said. “We can visualize the model in 3D in our conference room and make changes as we discuss it. “
This approach, he added, represents a huge saving of time and money for customers. It also prevents errors and eliminates the need for costly change orders that take place during construction. The results have been so positive that they have now used virtual reality in every project.
The software increased the company’s ability to undertake larger scale projects with existing resources. WDG’s portfolio includes commercial, residential, hotel, recreational, renovation and institutional projects in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona.
Although the Clarkes feel they have touched the tip of the iceberg with virtual reality, David is already working on expanding their capabilities to include full virtual tours of the building. It waits for the hardware and software to advance a bit further before launching it to customers.
The Clarkes, who moved to Las Cruces in 2009, bring to their business over 30 years of architectural and interior design experience. Entrepreneurs at heart, they have each run their own business but have found the greatest pleasure and greatest success working together. Wendy, an interior designer, also oversees administration, human resources and marketing functions, allowing David to focus on architectural design.
They are die-hard Las Cruces fans. When not at work, the Clarkes are active in the community, serving on the board of directors of the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership and participating in Rotary, Las Cruces Symphony and many local festivals.
“We love everything about being here – the people, the mountains and the weather,” said Wendy, “and most of all, the genuine kindness we find here on a daily basis.”
Paula Heikell is a freelance writer and can be contacted at email@example.com.
1014 S. Main Street, Suite A
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Phone. : 575-528-0022