What is a Digital Human? Why does it Matter to Architecture?

We live, work and play in our buildings. Architecture is design for people. Yet most architects still draw their designs on paper or a screen without considering the people that will be using it every day. Digital humans can help architects understand their spaces much more as well as help them tell the story of their design. Architectural VR environments give people an opportunity to interact with architecture before construction begins which allows for better design decisions to be made during all phases of project delivery from schematic design through construction documents and site plan reviews!

When architecture is devoid of human beings, one must consider how it will effect the people that occupy it. Without people to inhabit a building, its function becomes unclear. Buildings are the physical manifestations of what we desire, or think about. They also represent our relationship with reality and others.

If a building is devoid of people, it then becomes an abstract shell that fails to represent anything. Buildings are ethereal beings where the architect creates and defines space for human occupants. But without human inhabitants, architectural spaces can be meaningless or insubstantial in their existence.

For your clients to know a space and fully comprehend its design intention they need context and relationship to human interaction. Digital humans are a way to provide that context.

  • A digital human is the representation of a physically human form in computer graphics, like video games or animations.
  • Digital Humans can be created from motion capture technology and photorealistic facial scans.
  • Architects often use them inside VR environments to better understand their design decisions.

Digital humans or what Epic Games refers to as Metahumans make it possible for an individual to connect to a space and experience it through the lens of a realistic human. This is important because to design well for people you need to understand them. And this understanding comes from a deep knowledge of their needs, wants and behaviors.

In order to create spaces that are designed around human interactions we must first know the space through immersive experiences. This means immersing ourselves in architectural VR environments using digital humans as our guides so we can better understand how they may interact with the physical architecture before it is constructed.

Creating these spaces requires not only an understanding of what makes us human but also designing for others just like yourself — creating a sense of community connection between everyone who inhabits your Architecture.

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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