AR Augmented Reality Construction

Ahead of our latest ConTech Series event, Augmented Reality in Construction, we’ve been hearing from one of our guest speakers – Director of Darf Design Sahar Fikouhi. She’s been sharing how AR can enable architecture, engineering and construction professionals to enhance their work and visualise projects on-site….

Q. Could you share with us a little about Darf Design’s specialities?

Darf design is an interactive design studio wholly focussed on creating AR products, and creator of ARki app, a 3d/AR content sharing platform that enables architecture, engineering and construction professionals to visualise projects accurately on-site. The platform helps teams improve communication, and build more efficiently. 

ARki revolutionises the way architectural data is communicated in our cities. The app streamlines 3d data between the various stakeholders during the many stages of an architectural or civil project. The platform allows stakeholders to gain accurate visualisation of how projects will be built on-site,  helping to improve public consultation and planning, as well as reducing construction errors on-site. Both of which lead to greater cost savings for architects, engineers, contractors, and real-estate developers.

You can find out more about the app here:

Q. How can augmented reality develop the construction and property sector?

The construction industry is a heavily fragmented sector, often made up of several individual disciplines working together on a project. Current systems we have globally for communicating architecture  and construction drawings are hugely outdated. An architectural project can often take years, and involve thousands of individual stakeholders, and communication between people is often limited to 2d images, despite the fact that a majority of building projects are actually designed in 3d. 

AR revolutionises the way architectural data is communicated in our cities. The use of 3d data on-site also allows building occupiers to gain access to structural, mechanical and electrical information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain and, opens greater benefits for engineers, and real-estate companies, dealing with building maintenance and operations,  post construction.

Q. How has your background in architecture given you a unique perspective in developing AR technology?

Founder Sahar fikouhi started her career as an architect at Foster and Partners, working predominantly on computational design solutions which led to the initial concept proposal for ARki app. Her background in Architecture and Computation gives her a unique perspective on the key challenges faced within most AEC companies, mainly the slow iterative cycles in drawing production, and basic visual communication between teams. 

Q. What has been the impact of the ARki app on supporting the work of 3D Designers, Architects and Engineers?

Currently ARki is being used by over 10k companies globally across the AEC industry. The main use cases are architectural visualisation to show rapid prototypes in AR throughout the design process, and also for visualising civil and highway infrastructure in location. Our most recent collaboration has been with Network Rail, Buildings and Architecture department, using ARki to augment new footbridge designs across several locations in the UK. 

Q. How do you see the potential for the ARKi app userbase to grow?

ARki supports 3d designers across five of the leading 3d software packages, including sketchup, blender, 3dsmax, maya, and Rhino. In 2021 we anticipate a greater adoption of ARki by 3d designers across these five softwares, and are working on supporting more features from these packages within ARki. 

Q. What new technology areas is Darf Design pursuing? 

Our main focus in 2021 is to develop the platform to work with indoor navigation, so that users can not only visualise their 3d projects in ARki, but create new spatial experiences in location using AR. 

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