Incorporating Innovative and Immersive Technologies: Changing the Art of Design

In this article, James J. Balding, Associate Vice President and Director of WimberlyLabs at WATG, highlights a number of tools and technologies in addition to BIM that can help to better position the AEC industry when the economy rebounds and presents it with new opportunities. These technologies include a wide array of new immersive environments, parametric modeling and 3D printing, new ways of communicating with a computer, more multi-media and interactive tools for design presentations, and various others including digital note-taking and measurement of design quality.


7 thoughts on “Incorporating Innovative and Immersive Technologies: Changing the Art of Design

  1. Thanks for the great glimpse into the near future of design.

    Thanks also for including the information on unique presentation techniques! Let’s strive to see a day when all AEC presentations have moved beyond The Point and click Power Point presentations! Together, we can make it happen.

  2. Great look into the emerging and current technological trends that we all should be looking into. A lot of food for thought! Thanks Jim!

  3. Good article, Jim!

    The technologies were not oversold and the author is very honest and candid about how and when they can be used and points out the caveats to using some of them. Refreshing indeed.

    Nicely done!

  4. Jim,
    That is one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject…really exciting. I thought I was on the front edge of things but your article makes me feel like an old stick in the mud. I can’t wait until I can get a chance to go into the “Cave”. I already gave the article to my IT guys and told them to start checking these things out!

    I just wanted to congratulate you on your effort. Keep up the great work.

  5. Thank you all for taking the time to comment here. I very much appreciate the kind words, it makes it all worthwhile! While I enjoyed writing the article, it makes me feel especially good that people actually read it and appreciate its content.

  6. Good article, Jim – great to see so many different technologies brought together in one place without being oversold.

    I was slightly surprised you didn’t mention Second Life as I have now seen several presentations about its use for architectural visualisation by, among others, Studio Wikitecture and Daden.

    Also, the discussion of social networking could have been a little more extensive as there are already thriving AEC networks on platforms such as LinkedIn and Ning. Indeed, I helped found an online community, Be2camp, that is dedicated to expanding the use of Web 2.0/social media within the AEC/O industry – have a look at This has groups interested in Second Life and in the use of social media, as you suggest, for ‘promotional vehicles’ (though, IMHO, this has to be properly integrated with existing promotional activities too).

  7. Great article Jim!…also, since this is ‘down-time’ for many firms, you are on target to discuss where we go from here and how to ramp up our practices for an economy that’s on the mend. Really appreciate all the links. I will check out each one of them and try to see which of the technologies we can implement to get us ahead of the pack. Kudos and keep up the great work!

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