The core Ethos at Sensuus
So, how many of you have been sitting there, mid-meeting with a client, and realized at any particular moment, they really have no true comprehension of how those lines on a piece of paper will translate into a beautiful and well thought out space? It was a scenario I had seen too often in the past. Every time it happened, it would push me to explore even more ways to get my vision across to the client in a way they could truly understand. This would normally include creating even more drawings, more renderings and physical scaled models. I am certain this sort of scenario is one in which most Design Professionals can relate to. Translating a design vision, while trying to interpret what the client is thinking, seems to always be an ongoing struggle, especially given the technology and resources that are out in the world today. While seeing new construction on HGTV might seem easy, the struggles and thought process on external variables behind the scenes are never seen. How can a client every really get a feel for scale, size, light, materials, structure and views, in relation to their project? Every single project is unique and comes with it’s own set of challenges to consider. Conveying all of these factors to clients, on the other hand, can be quite difficult. At it’s core, this is really what sparked the idea of Sensuus.
How can I create a stunning design for a client and allow them to really feel what a space is all about, well before it is ever physically built and they are standing in it? As an Architect, through years of experience, it has become second nature for me to visualize and understand, in 3 dimensions, how a space will feel from just a set of floor plans. Unfortunately, this is not a talent most people, who are not familiar with Architecture, actually possess. For most, only after the project was in the process of being constructed (or even after the project was completed), could they physically walk into a space and finally be hit with that ah-ha moment, one way or the other, as a positive or negative reaction. If the reaction was a positive one, then great, as a Design Professional you have just solidified that relationship and trust with the client. However, on the flip side, if the reaction was more negative, clients would not act so favorably towards you and a massive amount of time and money were potentially in jeopardy. It was only after my experience working at an Experiential Ad Agency, and staying in tune with the evolution of technology, that I realized the solution for this problem was more attainable than I had previously considered.
Through my experience at the Ad Agency, I was really able to expand my horizons beyond my 3D capability that I was familiar with up to that point. We had taken on more requests from clients who wanted to use differing types of Virtual Reality in a wide variety of fields. As I was wrapping up my first successful Virtual Reality project at the Ad Agency, I was simultaneously working on a design concept for another clients home. Once I was able to understand what steps were required in the overall process to go from design concept, all the way to a finished Virtual Reality build, I decided to test my idea on client. I set up a meeting without giving them any information on what the actual intent or agenda was. At the time, the struggle with client was getting them to make a decision between a grander two-story foyer entry, and a more traditional ceiling height, to be the same as the rest of the first floor. Without telling them what they would see once they placed the VR headset on, they were eager to give it a try. Within seconds of placing the headset on, the impact of what they were seeing immediately set in. A quick gasp, followed by an ‘oh my God, this is what our foyer will feel like?! This is surreal!’, was all it took for me to realize this prototype was evoking exactly what I had suspected it would…emotion. As they walked around the foyer, feeling the sense of scale, light conditions and spatial relationships, they were able to make a definitive decision about whether to move forward with designing the two-story foyer or not. For me, that was it, that was the moment I knew this could be beneficial to the industry in a positive manner. The fact that they were able to definitively make a decision as a result of being in their future foyer was my primary goal of this prototype.
Going through this process, I realized how invaluable a service or tool like this could really be to the Design Professionals and Building Industry as a whole. The amount of effort that would have been spent on continued renderings and drawings at that point to help the client envision what that foyer would have felt like, one way or the other, was now time that could be utilized more efficiently on other areas of exploration and construction drawings. For me, this is the Ethos behind what Sensuus is all about. The fact that I have the experience on the Architecture side, as well as the technology side, differentiates Sensuus from a random tech-company that would produce a tool like this, as they do not have the experience on the Design side to understand what makes Architects and Builders so passionate and knowledgeable. At the end of the day the primary goal of this is to create something, which allows clients to feel a space and make knowledgable decisions as a result. In turn, this helps set expectations, communication and the overall relationship between the client and professional.