Environmental simulations through rendering has an important role to play in the design process of and communication regarding the built environment. Technological advances allow for widely used printed renders with 360° panoramic representations to be displayed through head-mounted devices (HMD). However, the adoption of this technology should be done with caution, due to the possible effects of the user’s context relative to his or her expertise and geographic–cultural level. This study compared printed and 360° HMD-render setup capacities for experts and nonexperts in Architecture, from different geographic–cultural contexts of Mexico and Spain. To tackle this, a broad spectrum of 15 components addressing aspects of utility, spatial representation, and the emotional and general capabilities of environmental simulations were assessed using bipolar scales by a total of 120 participants. Analyses showed differences in all aspects for all contexts of the study. The greatest differences were general, with non-experts of an indistinct geographic–cultural context showing the least perception of the capabilities. This indicates a strong conditioning, generated by experience acquired in different geographical–cultural contexts, supporting the idea of incorporating context–aware reasoning into the representation of novel rendering. Hence, our results will have interest for both professionals and instructors.

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