Designing for the Real, in the Virtual

Gautam Tewari, co-founder of Trezi, in 2018, delivered a scintillating talk at Gallopper Talks on the changing phase of design technology and the significance of virtual reality in the architectural field. Although much has changed over the last five years, Tewari’s thoughts from 6 years back speak highly of his vision and ability to see how the future is likely to pan out. He expressed his personal connection to the topic, having been involved in architecture for over two decades and exploring virtual reality since the mid-1990s.

At the beginning of the talk, Tewari asked the audience if they had personally experienced virtual reality. Quite a few hands went up. He acknowledged that three years prior, only a few hands would have gone up, indicating the progression of technology since then. He then showed a video that highlighted the potential of virtual reality in various creative fields such as animation, architecture, filmmaking, and music production.

The audience listening to Gautam Tewari’s talk

Tewari shared his own journey as an architect and the impact of technology on the profession. In 1982, Autodesk demonstrated AutoCAD for the first time, which revolutionized the industry. Tewari also recalled a conversation with an architect in 1991, who believed that hand-drawing would remain prevalent despite the rise of computers. However, by the time Tewari completed his master’s degree in 2001, computers had completely taken over architectural practice.

He identified several challenges faced by the architectural profession, including difficulties in conveying design intent to clients, fragmented collaboration processes, and a reliance on physical mock-ups leading to wastage. To address these challenges, Trezi leveraged virtual reality as an immersive design tool. The aim was to allow clients to experience designs in a realistic, to-scale environment, facilitating better understanding and decision-making.

Through the use of virtual reality, Trezi achieved quick problem resolution, improved design understanding, reduced costs, and enhanced collaboration among architects, clients, consultants, contractors, and building product manufacturers. The platform also minimized the need for physical mock-ups, focusing on showing only what was necessary.

The Amphitheatre at Creaticity, Pune, the Venue

Tewari expressed his belief that virtual reality could bring positive changes to the architectural profession, such as improved design representation, coordination, and comprehension. He emphasized the importance of conveying design intent accurately to clients and enabling better design coordination. The reduction in physical mock-ups would streamline the design process and minimize wastage.

In conclusion, Tewari introduced Trezi, a platform designed to address the challenges of collaboration, communication, and design comprehension in the architectural and interior design industries. Trezi offered a real-time immersive and interactive design experience, enabling stakeholders to work together toward a common goal. The platform simplified the search, discovery, and selection of building products, ultimately resulting in faster decision-making, cost savings, and increased client satisfaction.

Watch the full video here