Welcome to another edition of IN TEG. In our last edition, I wrote about how clinical technology is changing the way health care is delivered across the world. In this edition of IN TEG, we discuss how technology is changing the way TEG collaborates with our clients through the use of virtual reality (VR).

The use of VR goggles and 360-degree, computer-generated images allows our design teams to refine designs to levels never experienced. Our team then creates images that allow our clients to literally stand inside a space or outside their buildings while viewing every detail — increasing effective client+design team collaboration.
The human brain is capable of incredible things, but not every person can visualize a three-dimensional space or building while viewing a two-dimensional drawing such as a floor plan. Using VR to illustrate spaces in three dimensions facilitates extensive collaboration. The essence of highly productive collaboration is that all parties are fully engaged in the review and commentary on design solutions.

In a novel by Edwin A. Abbot, titled "Flatland," he explores how two dimensional objects such as squares, triangles and circles live on a flat plane. Abbot then introduces a three dimensional object, a sphere, which teaches the other objects how to act as a three dimensional form. This is essentially what VR at TEG does for our clients. Oh, by the way, Abbots novel was written more than 100 years ago. While not a new idea, application of this innovation and technology to a design collaboration process is certainly a new idea made possible by computer technology and tools that allow us to take this technology to our clients.

This is only the start of how technology is improving TEG’s abilities to engage our clients in the facility design process. As we approach a project, our planners and designers look at how we can improve every aspect of our client’s operations. Regardless of project type, we explore ways design can improve efficiency and productivity. In our latest book, "Efficient Design+Productive Care: The Return on Investment of Facility Design," TEG demonstrates the process we use to engage our clients and the financial results of partnering with our client to shape facilities that improve how clinical care is delivered — increasing patient satisfaction and elevating patient outcomes.

As an architect who started his career being taught how to draw by hand, communicate by hand and collaborate with hand-drawn illustrations, now being able to use 360-degree, computer-generated images delivered by goggles has been an incredible experience. I’m glad to have been along for the ride and can’t wait to write many more chapters.

R. Wayne Estopinal, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP
President – TEG