A new viewer from Flux Labs lets project teams see designed environments in virtual reality.
Flux Labs A new viewer from Flux Labs lets project teams see designed environments in virtual reality.

A new virtual reality tool from Flux—a Google X spin-out that provides cloud-based collaboration tools for AEC companies—allows engineers and designers to view their projects’ design and geometry in virtual reality (VR). Showcased on the Flux Labs website, the app is one of a collection of experimental tools and solutions built on the Flux platform. Project teams can import their existing model geometry from Revit, Rhino, SketchUp, or a combination of those programs into Flux and then create a shareable URL for the design that is viewable using a smartphone placed in a cardboard VR player. Users can also navigate inside the VR environment from their laptop. When changes are made to the 3D model, the VR environment updates in real time across devices without the need for a new file import or export. Users can apply custom colors for identifying functions such as energy analysis results or embodied carbon, and the open-source code can be modified and customized. The launch of Flux VR is just the latest in a recent spate of tools (here, here, and here) released that offer project teams the opportunity to view existing and forthcoming spaces in VR. [Flux]

ICYMI: The future of food, controlling the tides, a spray-foam house, and more winners of the 10th annual edition of our R+D Awards. [ARCHITECT]

Swiss designer Yves Béhar worked with the MIT Media Lab to design Ori, a furniture system that maximizes usable space in small interiors by expanding and contracting at the touch of a button. [Core 77]

The architectural roots of the Pokémon Go smartphone game that went viral this week. [Fast Company’s Co.Design] (Don't know what the hubbub is all about? CityLab's Kriston Capps explains.)

Rather than fixing dilapidated asphalt roads, some cities are tearing them up and replacing them with gravel, dirt, and a geotextile for stability. [Wired]

Sludge can be added to cement to make concrete, researchers in Malaysia found, affording a new means of meeting the rising demand for concrete in the country while offsetting the growing volume of sewage waste there. [Global Construction Review]

Amazon’s new Seattle campus, designed by NBBJ, will feature three transparent ‘‘spheres’’ at its core that ensconce employees gathering inside in an array of plants, continuing a trend in the design of tech firm offices, which began with ping pong tables and bean bag chairs, that are bent on finding new ways to inspire creativity. [The New York Times]

A look at the latest research connecting office lighting and workplace productivity. [Bloomberg]

Emerge by AIAU, a new series developed by the American Institute of Architect’s Center for Emerging Professionals, allows Associate AIA members to take continuing education courses in order to gain credits in NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program. [AIA]

This post has been updated.