Calgary

Designing spaces with virtual reality lands Calgarian on list of most creative people

A Calgary company that uses 3D interior design technology to help customers literally visualize new spaces is getting international recognition for its software.

DIRTT co-founder Barrie Loberg named by Fast Company alongside those working for the biggest names in tech

Barrie Loberg is the co-founder of DIRTT and the inventor of its ICE technology. He was named one of Fast Company magazine's 100 Most Creative People in Business. (Barrie Loberg/Twitter)

A Calgary company that uses 3D interior design technology to help customers literally visualize new spaces is getting international recognition for its creativity.

DIRTT Environmental Services first unveiled its ICEreality technology last June. ICE uses Microsoft HoloLenses to combine virtual reality with existing spaces, which allows designers and customers to see and manipulate proposed interior designs in real time.

This week, DIRTT co-founder and inventor of the ICE software Barrie Loberg was named one of Fast Company magazine's 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2017. 

He is joined on the list by actor/musician Donald Glover, Food for the Soul co-founder Massimo Bottura and vice-presidents from Netflix, Facebook, Instagram and Amazon.​

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Loberg says the technology is changing the way the company does business — allowing DIRTT to design on the fly, instead of sitting down and working with blueprints.

"We put on the HoloLenses, walk into this space and almost like on Star Trek, you can create the space you want, modify it, move things around, add a door and we actually are in the space experiencing it," he told CBC's Calgary Eyeopener Monday.

The software within the lenses then allows DIRTT to take the design and manufacture the materials to build the space using specific dimensions, so the pre-fabricated products fit perfectly every time.

Materials are often shipped to clients within two weeks.

Loberg says the ICE technology has been in research mode for the past year, but clients who experience it are completely blown away.

"People that have been working on their building with floor plans and even renderings, the first time they come into our reality that we create for them, it's like they're seeing it for the first time. It's a much, much better way of understanding," he said.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener