Augmented reality (AR) allows the real and digital worlds to converge and overlap in a new way of observation and understanding. The architectural field can significantly benefit from AR applications, due to their systemic complexity in terms of knowledge and process management. Global interest and many research challenges are focused on this field, thanks to the conjunction of technological and algorithmic developments from one side, and the massive digitization of built data. A significant quantity of research in the AEC and educational fields describes this state of the art. Moreover, it is a very fragmented domain, in which specific advances or case studies are often described without considering the complexity of the whole development process. The article illustrates the entire AR pipeline development in architecture, from the conceptual phase to its application, highlighting each step’s specific aspects. This storytelling aims to provide a general overview to a non-expert, deepening the topic and stimulating a democratization process. The aware and extended use of AR in multiple areas of application can lead a new way forward for environmental understanding, bridging the gap between real and virtual space in an innovative perception of architecture.
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