Case Study: How Ascot Design uses VR to enhance client engagement
Ascot Design, founded in 2003, has a long-established reputation for delivering the highest quality of service to clients, tailoring design elements to meet their specific tastes and requirements. Based in Berkshire, Mayfair, and Cheshire, UK, the team provides a seamless delivery of architectural schemes and master plans worldwide. The RIBA chartered company has over 50 talented designers with varying specialist skill sets. We interviewed Alex Horder, Managing Director, and Nishan Magar, Head of Visualization, about their journey to VR and how the technology has become a key differentiation for Ascot design’s client engagement.
What makes Ascot Design unique and different?
We do not have a very traditional architectural practice and believe in thinking differently and being very customer-centric. We want to be renowned for offering the best service, and we want our customers to believe that they will receive the best product possible when they choose to work with us. Since the beginning, our USP has always been presentation and how we evolve and develop our ideas. We aim to present our design to our clients in a way that is more visually appealing than anything else, and always believe in adopting the latest technologies to make this happen.
How did you get into VR, and how important do you think it is for your workflow?
Nishan from our team was excited to explore the possibility of using VR for presentations to clients. We trialed this idea when he first suggested it, and we were convinced that it would be a great addition to our offerings to help clients better understand the designs. Producing a highly-bespoke design requires a dedicated team effort at the back end, and when a client is given the chance to view a design in virtual reality, they are better able to comprehend the amount of work, complexity, and detail that went into creating it. Additionally, the design becomes more immersive and more of an experience, which would not have been possible without VR.
What pain point does VR address from the client's perspective?
Many of our clients face difficulty in understanding the space. They look at a drawing, but it is difficult for them to imagine how it would appear after completion. Therefore, VR plays an important role here and helps us provide better service while also enabling the client to fully understand the experience, participate in the design process, and identify design changes based on their preferences. This saves a lot of time and money for the clients and also gives a better experience. Since we use Lumion in our design workflow and with Sentio VR, we can deliver immersive experiences to our clients by creating 360 panoramas.
How do you see the future of VR and architecture?
It is going to be massive in the future, in my opinion. A year or two ago it was wired and now it is wireless. For the most part, people weren’t prepared for it and were surprised by how quickly it developed. With the evolution of technology and the experience that VR provides, it is going to become an imperative part of the design process. At Ascot Design, we believe in embracing change and adopting new technologies to deliver the best service to our clients, so I feel it is going to be a great addition.
What are your thoughts on the use of virtual reality in the client experience?
We are able to provide a highly personalized experience to a client's journey by using VR as a presentation tool. Clients invest a significant amount of money and time in their projects, and there is no point in discovering when they experience their home that something better could have been adapted in the initial design phase. Therefore, involving clients in the design process with VR has helped minimize this factor, and decisions regarding changes can be implemented quickly.
For instance, we have a high-end project in Ho Chi Minh City where the process takes a lot of effort and money since our colleagues will be traveling to the client for the presentation. We couldn't risk giving the client the impression that something was missing from the design, so we decided to use VR. The clients were able to walk around their properties, and the experience of actually stepping in, seeing, and feeling how they could live is invaluable, and it makes our service more significant to them.
Learn more about Ascot Design's services in this company video or visit their website, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. We thank Alex, Erin & Nishan from the Ascot Design team for sharing their experience with our product. Check out the entire interview below.
If you also want a great client experience in VR try Sentio VR for free or get in touch with us directly.