Creative Endeavors,  Featured

Design, in virtual

As adjustments have been made left and right to carry on everyday routines, resourcefulness and creativity in communities and industry are as relevant as ever. Even in the design sphere, creative leaders are finding ways to deliver great design; and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA, founder and principal at Visbeen Architects LLC is at the head of the curve with a newly launched interactive video service delivering the same results as his in-person consultations: fully developed, custom home illustrations that are ready to implement. 

“I’m drawing right on my pad, my overhead camera is on my paper, and [clients are] watching it and interacting with me as if they’re across the desk,” Visbeen said. “There’s no difference with the exception that I’m not serving them coffee or lunch, but they’re in the comfort of their own home.”

Visbeen has become known for live-drawing completely designed custom residences for clients during his consultations, transforming longtime architectural dreams into usable illustrations in a matter of hours. Visbeen Architects Inc., founded by Visbeen in 1992, is versed in a wide range of services, from interior design, to indoor and outdoor remodels, existing plan modifications, new homes, and even playhouses. So far, the firm has designed approximately 1,600 homes, and its portfolio also includes spaces like churches, resorts, office buildings, and even universities. When it comes to Visbeen’s residential consultations, clients can expect to have their design goals clearly envisioned and brought to life, whether they be an entirely new custom home or a kitchen remodel.

“If people read our reviews on Houzz about the process of doing the live drawing with them, they almost have to see the videos or read the reviews to understand how much they’ll get in that two hour meeting, because there’s probably some skepticism, but the reviews are all pretty amazing,” Visbeen said. 

During Visbeen’s new video consultations, which have a reduced rate of $2,000 for two hours, one can find the designer at his desk, with a camera poised over the top of his drawing pad to allow clients a clear view of the sketching process. Clients can also give Visbeen a tour of their own existing spaces—what they love, what they would change, and how they envision new design. The process also saves clients a trip. Whereas many would travel from around the country to work with Visbeen, they can now meet with him from home and end the conversation with a fresh design to bring to a local builder. Or, if clients want to save the design for Visbeen to oversee in a later building project, they can use the fee as a deposit on a custom home or full remodel. Ultimately, Visbeen notes the service is timely for clients who may have more time than ever to explore the concept of their dream home.

“We’re offering it to people and offering it at a price that’s very reasonable with respect to what I’ll produce in that meeting,” Visbeen said. “The big advantage right now for people is they’re basically able to do it during this time where they really they have time. If they want to kickstart a project that they wish they could have gotten done for the past few years, we can do it.”

Text: R. Collins | GLBD writer