Jessica - Oct. 7, 2020
From Virtual to Reality
DESIGN AT THE TIME OF COVID
It was March 11th, 2020 when a Pandemic was declared. It felt like the World froze for a moment waiting for someone to figure out how to move forward. With the enforced physical distancing we had to reimagine our way to work. Being a freelance had the advantage that I was already working from home, construction was still allowed but what about meetings with clients??? At the time I just had a commission for a project as part of a collaboration with Canova Management, a local contracting company. We had just started the design phase when health authorities encouraged physical distancing. The client was very strict on the completion time for the construction for personal reasons, she had to be in the house by end of summer. This was a situation that no one has ever faced before, we had to be responsible not only for ourselves but for the people around us, employees, coworkers but first of all our families. Being an early adopter of the virtual reality technology came as a blessing!
The project was a renovation of a small kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a powder room. I decided right away to offer free 3D service to the client in order to complete the design phase quickly. It was a risk as the project was on a fixed fee so the 3D would have added hours to my work.
What it looked as an extra work, it actually turned out to be a great accelerator. The client, not very fluent in English, was able to read the project easily and make decision right away speeding up the entire process. We had few meetings via Zoom where I was able to show the design on a 360 camera, moving around the room and showing every single detail made a huge difference.
Technical drawings are still very essential for the realization of a project but how many people are actually able to visualize what you are showing on a 2D drawing in real life? What a better way to experience the room than from the inside?
In this industry technologies develop very quickly and if you want to be competitive in the market you have to be very flexible and open to learn new things all the time. If there's anything we have learnt from this experience is the we have to be ready to adapt and quickly. Technology can be your worst enemy or your best friend, it's up to you what you make of it.