The Future is Here: Creating Experiential Spaces with Virtual Reality

ASI Hosts Another Topical Panel Discussion
In The ASI Showroom!

On Thursday, December 7th, Architectural Systems had a full house for an interactive discussion during Shop! Associations Retail Design Collective, with presentations by: Kambiz Hemati of Verizon and Verizon's VR Partner, Josh Gold, RYOT Studio, Bill Spaulding and Mare Weiss of Bergmeyer Associates, Lauren Chipman of Chipman Design Architecture and Melisa Flickinger of Vera Bradley. The panel was moderated by ASI President and Shop! Associations, newly named, Women of Distinction, Nancy Jackson. 

“Virtual Reality, now firmly established, is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment placing the user into an immersive experience interacting in a 3D environment. This new medium provides a platform where you are no longer an observer but a participant, the very core of VR is experience and presence. For retail designers the narrative brand storytelling doesn’t change but the way in which they tell the story around us with Virtual Reality will change. 

We are navigating in an experience economy, and the expectation of the customer is to have an elevated journey when immersed in a branded environment...and as you saw during the presentations whether enhancing the in-store experience or affecting the actual design process outcome, Virtual Reality has arrived!" stated Nancy Jackson.

The panel discussed how retailers and leading firms are integrating VR into their design process.

Kambiz Hemati, Executive Creative Director, Head of Design, Verizon 

Kambiz Hemati spoke about how Verizon incorporated virtual reality technology into their San Francisco flagship to show how dimensional story telling enhances the customer experience . Combining design innovation with their signature red brand color  and the Verizon technology incorporated in the fixtures too ,  the goal was successfully met in delivering a space where you are immersed in a state of the art store yet the VR experience delivers a unique local flavor of San Francisco and engagement on a personal level.  

Josh Gold, Executive Producer, RYOT Studio 

RYOT is in the business of building and implementing “emerging immersive and linear technology”. Josh Gold shared how they were challenged to bring something fresh to the "Verizon Wireless Experience". RYOT used VR to give customers an opportunity to “experience” a perspective of San Francisco as a local rather than that of a tourist by creating content not only with the standard SF iconic sites. They had drones and helicopters drop into different areas of the City by the Bay at night to provide an active and participatory  special experience for the in store  customer.

Bill Spaulding, Senior Associate & Mare Weiss, Principal of Bergmeyer Associates Inc. 

The Bergmeyer team educated the audience on how virtual reality is used as a tool in the design process. Bill Spaulding provided a historical context of VR and how the technology has advanced over the years. Mare Weiss gave the audience a detailed walkthrough of how VR is implemented today to design and merchandise retail spaces even before they are built out. They concluded with forecasting what might be next for VR and Augmented Reality includes: no headsets, eye tracking innovations, laser scan technology integration, and mapping.

Melissa Flickinger, Director of Store Planning, Design and Visual Merchandising, Vera Bradley 

Vera Bradley wanted to expand the brand offering into lifestyle with the introduction of a bedding line. Many of the stores are not large enough to show this product. Melisa Flickinger discussed how they worked with NY Fashion Tech Lab and  partnered with Obsess to bring VR technology into their NYC SOHO location to be able to introduce the new bedding line. It was so successful, they sold out product in the first week and won "VMSD Excellence in Store Design and Visual Merchandising Award” at this year’s PAVE Gala. As Vera Bradley’s strategic material partner, ASI invited the retailer to set up a Pop-Up Shop in the ASI Showroom during market week, which included the new bedding collection and the VR Headset! 

Lauren Chipman, CEO and Principal, Chipman Design Architecture 

Lauren Chipman focused on sharing with the audience how virtual reality was instrumental in the planning and designing of the Manhattan ULTA Beauty flagship location. Uses included proactively troubleshooting specific challenges with VR goggles used by contractors on the job site, which proved to be an effective measure to save costs  and time on the build out and ensured everyone involved in the project was  on the same page. Her takeaway was how virtual reality can be used at the construction phases of a project to create an optimal outcome.

Watch Full Video: https://youtu.be/QM4f4LOR8v4

View Photos from the event:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ikaz11iuk4u2pr4/AAD7M057A5JZJpFSKmmcys7Wa?dl=0

Read the program, with panelist bios and projects: https://www.archsystems.com/Global/Tradeshows/ASI-RDC-Program%20v2.pdf

Posted at 12/11/2017 1:48 PM

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