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  • Writer's pictureEeva Kavenius

What is The Importance of High-Quality 3D Visualizations? - Interview with Anna Sulikowska

Updated: Mar 22

How did Anna use 3D visualization videos in presenting her design and engaging her clients?

3D videos have proven to engage clients and online audiences 5 to 10 times more when compared to images. Anna has used this to her advantage in using these videos not only in her presentations but also in her marketing.

Below you can see our interview and all the topics that we cover, as well as Annas contact information and the results of our collaboration.

Eeva Kavenius from Prefixa interviewing Anna Sulikowska.

Here's what we cover cover in the interview:

  1. How did her experience in architecture evolve to specialize in designing condos in Toronto and what she is aiming to specialize in when working abroad.

  2. How her background in art and problem solving has enabled her to succeed in architecture.

  3. The first work she has gotten from the team at Prefixa and what did she like the most about it.

  4. The things she has considered when choosing us as to visualize her design and work with us.

  5. The reaction of Anna’s client when watching the 3d-animation videos we have made for her design.

  6. How Anna uses the results we have delivered to her as marketing material to showcase her design for future projects.

  7. The role 3D visualization plays in her business.

Anna’s no.1 piece of advice for architects who struggle in communicating their vision with their clients: Focus your energy on the most important thing that matters, and delegate the visualization work for people who are specialized doing it, like Prefixa

Below the transcript of the interview:

Eeva: Hey everyone it's Eeva here! Today I have Anna Sulikowska and we're gonna see how Anna has used high-quality 3d visualization videos to communicate her vision to her clients. Anna, hi! Could you please introduce yourself a little bit?

Anna: So my name is Anna Sulikowska, and I am a Canadian architect. Well, I'm a nearly licensed Canadian architect. I've been interning at various firms in Toronto over the last 11 years or so and during that time I sort of started developing my own practice on the side. A lot of it has to do with actually working abroad and maybe Mexico and Italy so um yeah so that's kind of the introduction.

Eeva: Wow! That's some really interesting stuff! So, can you tell me a little bit like what type of architecture you do and who are your clients and all of that?

Anna: Okay, so more on the corporate side I've worked on various projects, a lot of them were very large infrastructural projects you know, such as subways or airports. I also worked on some schools, but the main bulk of work that I've done in Toronto, which is by the way where I went to school at the University of Toronto, I've also done a lot of condos. And that's due because of the condo boom in Toronto you know in the last I would say you know 10 years. So, I was in Toronto during the boom and a lot of the work that I've done was on various condos for various different firms, ranging from 14 stories up to 85 stories. And you know working with local developers such as Tridel for example. So the projects varied from government to private sector projects. So my range of experiences is quite vast from those 11 years or so working in the offices in Toronto. Yeah!

Eeva: Wow that's like a very very different, very different types of projects you've done. You mentioned that you're hoping to move into foreign countries like Italy and Mexico. What type of projects are you hoping to do or planning to do there?

Anna: Well, I think I am going to focus on small projects renovation projects. You know, because I see a lot of opportunities in countries like Italy or Mexico. So you know I've done one condo project, uh project in Toronto, and I think you know, sort of, that set up a lot of parameters for the scale that I like. So as a female architect, you know, I would like to start with sort of a smaller project, not necessarily you know go and design airports or anything, right? But I am very interested in working on airports as well because actually one of the projects I did want to work on is the airport in Mexico City, a project that got canceled. But essentially yeah, like I am interested in large projects but I think for my own practice I like the idea of the small renovation type. And you know the context is very important to me as well. So you know designing in the beautiful countryside in Italy or in Mexico is definitely a value-added to the project. So that's kind of the angle that I'm coming from yeah.

Eeva: Awesome! And can I ask a little bit like your background? What were you doing before you got into architecture and what kind of drove you to become an architect?

Anna: Okay so my undergrad I actually did it in Fine Arts. And the school was in Vancouver, Emily Carr University. So it's yeah kind of funny, but many of my friends, not many but there were a few, friends who ended up sort of picking up from you know an art background and transferring over their skills into architecture and we all actually ended up at the same school without knowing that we all applied. So, so yeah there was a lot of people coming from painting, sculpture background you know. And we ended up working at similar firms in Toronto, but many of us ended up moving out west again, and but yeah. The thing that always interested me in architecture, because I think it's you know the environment, the environment is very important for many different things. But you know like the idea of like healthy cities or just like healthy lifestyles, you know how design gets implemented into the everyday to sort of improve the daily living for people. I think you know whether it's on a small scale or a large scale it's very, it's very intricate and very interesting to me. I think, I essentially I'm a problem solver. Like I really like the side, but because with design, you can solve a lot of different problems whether it's like within the city or you know just within how you how do you like place furniture inside a room so that the overall quality of space and living improves. So that's kind of you know, that's always, these are always the things that I'm thinking of and I think I'm always you know like wherever I go I'm always thinking about how you know even if there's like a lineup of people, I think of you know, if that lineup of people would just move left or right or if it was designed differently the flow would always work better or you know. So I am like, I just naturally want to sort of control or design environments so that they become more efficient or better. Yeah, that's the best way that I can explain it.

Eeva: Awesome! Do you think that like, your initial like willingness to solve other people's problems is like what you're trying to do with these smaller residential renovations? Like are you trying to solve other people's problems in their houses or?

Anna: I think, I think that mostly comes it's I think that the redesigning the houses or renovations is less about maybe the problem solving, but I mean it is that too, but also just kind of like an overall vision of you know a well-balanced life and you know where you have access to trees or um you know uh beautiful views and such. But that's not necessarily it, because you know I've also lived downtown where you're just looking at buildings the whole time. But you know you're always, again, trying to think of how a street can be better, not just by shutting it down and having no cars but you know there's always like you can make a back alley, like a treed alley or something, you know where people have can use that as an alternate route of transportation. Or not transportation but more like circulation within the city. But yeah so, so it's not just the problem solving but sort of like the aesthetics of it and just wanting to be in a nice pleasant place, you know. Yeah so...

Eeva: That's great! A little bit about collaboration and what we did. Do you remember how you found our service?

Anna: Well I just remember sending a file, it was a Revit file to get very technical. But yeah it was a Revit file and you guys were able to translate it into your program and yeah. And then from there, you know you did whatever you needed to do to sort of convey the vision that I had. You know even with because I asked for two different sorts of scenarios. One which is because where the project is located in Sanada um you know we have 10 months of winter and a lot of snow so it's always nice to show like a swimming pool in the summertime, but we don't have that much summer especially not in Quebec. Well yeah, many different parts. So I asked for like, you know a rendering of a winter scene. And you know it's just, it's just so beautiful to see that project in a winter context as well. So that was like an additional thing that you guys did for me. I don't think it was originally going to be like that but yeah. So it just really sort of, you know the idea of like falling snow and the water and the sounds and just the visual are just so pleasant.

Eeva: Yeah and I can definitely relate to that. Being from Finland the winter lasts most of the year so I can imagine it's it's important to see the whole thing, not just from one point of time, but also what it looks all throughout the year.

Anna: Yeah, that's right yeah.

Eeva: So what did initially motivate you to choose us to do this visualization for you instead of somebody else?

Anna: So based on my experience and travels to Mexico I've always admired Mexican aesthetic, the Mexican architecture, and I've looked at a lot of different renderings that were coming from Mexican architects and firms. And I think your firm, well you guys were obviously willing to, you know, work with someone like myself and just trying to do this tiny little project and so that was definitely, you know. And also seeing your work. So I really appreciate the approach and just kind of reaching out and also like the overall aesthetic and that your, you know, firm offers as opposed to like other firms that I've communicated with, so yeah.

Eeva: I'm glad to hear that! Can you tell me a little bit what were the results or the reactions of the client that you showed our work to?

Anna: So yeah, this was a private client and I mean, she loved it. So you know, the idea of sort of executing the project is there but we haven't pursued it further yet. But overall I've been definitely using the videos to show people sort of what can be done. So in the future projects, I will definitely, you know, use Prefixa as a go-to for renderings and videos, because not only do I know like how - what the results going to be, you know, it's always very nice. But also like how you guys work so, but yeah, like everyone's always very impressed and thinks it's amazing.

Eeva: That's nice to hear, awesome! And so you use this material in like your marketing and all that. Do you think your - what like some areas of your projects and your presentations have improved by the 3D visualization?

Anna: Well definitely! Because you know again, it's just the rendering always is almost like a, it's a very attractive, emotionally appealing product to many different people, you know. So you, they don't necessarily have to understand the layout and such so, so yeah. It's the videos are definitely a great vehicle for sort of communicating with the audience, always. Yeah.

Eeva: Yeah, awesome! And regarding other architects who are thinking of maybe, possibly working with us. What do you think, what type of architects are a good fit for us to work together with us?

Anna: Well yeah, it's a hard one because like I think everyone has, it's hard to break into you know some firms that already have their rendering teams and the renderings can be, how would I say, that the rendering decisions are made very quickly and they can change very quickly. So I think sometimes the firms prefer their in-house runners because they know their style and they know their capabilities and they know that they can, you know, change anything right away because the person is sitting right there you know that's their desk. Although in Covid and working from home maybe that's changed a little bit and now it won't matter as much. So from that perspective, yeah it's really hard to sort of, like what I'm, what I've always noticed is that it's like the immediate like larger firms prefer their in-house teams that are immediate. Whereas you know people who are kind of working on their own practice, they may tend to you know be a little bit more relaxed about how quick things get done, you know. Because the turnaround time can be, it doesn't have to be longer but you know sometimes it can't happen in like an hour and in-house it always happens so fast. Yeah so, but as far as like the types of clients I mean I think your company has tremendous potential and I actually don't know much about like what kinds of clients you have so far but I believe that I was trying to sort of send the information to some of my colleagues in the past, and again it's you know these are firms that already have like their in-house teams, so yeah I don't know.

Eeva: It is a really hard question.

Anna: Oh my gosh.

Eeva: I'm sorry about that! So can I ask, you said that you're planning on moving to Italy and maybe Mexico. Is there anything else exciting coming up in your business right now?

Anna: Yes! Like I said because I think my business will be focused on like Italy, Mexico where I can do smaller projects and where maybe there's less restrictions about some things. You know working here I am finding that even the smallest townships have strict rules and they like to tell you exactly what to do and then you have to convince them and give them renderings or you know beautiful videos to convey your vision, and then they change their minds. But you know like if I have to go through that process of, you know, putting in, I mean there's nothing wrong with putting in a lot of effort but I think the effort could be that energy can be used in sort of creating rather than trying to convince people how to you know manage their the building in their town or in their city. So you know, from my perspective as someone just starting up their own practice I am faced or I've learned about facing challenges which I can easily overcome. But I now value, for example, you know the work that developers do at convincing cities to do, you know, certain things in order to have their projects completed or initiate their projects, etc. So yeah! So I think I am definitely going to focus on Italy and Mexico for now. And also there's more of because of the weather you can, you know, there's not so many limitations on like all the concrete has to cure you know at that temperature, it's you can, or you don't even have to have insulation you know. So it just becomes all about the sort of the science of building and sort of assessing things like that. So I hope that answers your question, I feel like I'm rambling on again. Okay.

Eeva: No that's great! I think yeah there's definitely a difference when you're designing a house for the colder climate than when you get to design something that you don't have to really think so much about those technical things and you can actually just focus on the design itself. So yeah, that's really exciting. And one quick question, do you have like a number one piece of advice for other architects that maybe struggle with communicating their vision to their clients or want to do it more efficiently?

Anna: Hmm, I say use Prefixa! I say, you know don't again it's about how you spend your energy on. You know, sure enough, I myself can do amazing renderings like I have in school, like many people many architects are just so talented at photoshop and you know video and... But at the same time where do you want to focus your energy at? Designing and making the the vision happen, or do you, you know, would you rather just give that you know the work of visualizing to professionals that can do a great job and even better than you can. Especially with the audio and you know just the whole nature and the context and sometimes adding, because architects also like to be a little bit realistic sort of. I find that people who you know have these hyper-reality world sort of aesthetics also adds, to you know, the I guess, the final product which is a little bit more amazing in many aspects than just an architect doing the work. So yeah that's kind of what I think.

Eeva: Great, thanks so much for sharing that. Thank you so much Anna for this conversation, I really enjoyed talking with you! And bye everyone!

Anna: Thank you, thank you so much! Nice meeting you, and thank you again for all the work!

You can find Anna and more about her work on her Instagram and LinkedIn accounts!

Below you can see the results of our work with Anna on the Saint Ours project.

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