How to use digital humans in Architecture

What are digital humans? They are digital representations of real people. Either actual individuals or people of similar characteristics to the people you are designing for. Digital humans are the next step in design. The idea of designing for people as a species is what digital humanism is all about and it’s something that architects and designers have been talking about for years. Digital humans are an extension of this type of thinking, but with one distinct difference: we can now create them ourselves and experience spaces alongside them through virtual reality technologies.

Why use them in architecture? Do Architects need to use digital humans in their architecture design process? The answer is yes, and here’s why.

Architects can now digitally represent themselves and their clients with 3D models that respond realistically to the environment around them. This means they’re able to see how their designs work within a simulated space before it is constructed! The technology is developing at rapid rates. Take for instance Unreal Engine’s Metahumans. People of this quality and realism were only dreamed of years ago. Now they are in your reach. If you have the software and hardware capable of controlling such power-hungry environments.

Digital humans have been used by both designers and researchers alike to study human behavior in different environments like hospitals, airports, retail spaces, offices, etc., so there has been ample opportunity to explore this concept.

I see this really as an emerging technology. One day we will be able to drop characters powered by AI into our virtual designs and see how they react to the spaces. What leads them to reactions. Where are we missing the mark with our designs? Is there something about the space that is confusing to navigate? Digital humans powered by AI could help us solve some of these challenges.

They’re created with the likeness of real people. Watching real people connect within a space can be an interesting experiment.

Digital humans will be at the forefront of architectural design one day. There are a variety of reasons that architects and designers can utilize digital humans in their work, but it’s not always so easy to know how to get started.

Imagine you are an architect. You’re looking for a way to demonstrate the design of your latest project to your clients, or just want to get some feedback from peers before finalizing the blueprints. Could you rely on AI feedback? Could you gauge your client’s reactions and possible resistance areas by using digital humans to study the space and respond?

This will allow architects to design buildings better suited for people. They also allow architects to test how people would react to certain spaces and what types of design might work best for certain uses.

Architects can use digital humans as an interactive tool for design reviews or as virtual clients. Digital human technology also opens up the opportunity to create 3D immersive environments that are realistic enough for architectural walk-throughs and presentations. I’m interested in where this will take us and how we can create better Architecture using digital humans.




I’m an Architect. My favorite thing to do is create stories through architectural design. Founder of Whitewash Studio architecture firm in Atlanta, GA.

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Marc Sawyer

Marc Sawyer

I’m an Architect. My favorite thing to do is create stories through architectural design. Founder of Whitewash Studio architecture firm in Atlanta, GA.

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