“Wow! This is awesome!”
Olli Lindroos, Managing Director Esko Lindroos Oy
“The best feedback we can get is to hear our members amazement when looking at the virtual showroom with their own products.” Johanna Lahti, Brand Manager, Design from Finland, the Association for Finnish Work.
The Association for Finnish Work strives to increase appreciation for Finnish work and to ensure the prosperity and success of Finnish work. It develops and administers symbols such as Design From Finland; a mark signaling that a product or service has been designed in Finland and that the company has invested in design.
Johanna Lahti is in charge of the co-efforts under the Design from Finland mark. In 2016 she together with a large number of member companies filled a 360 m2 area exhibition area in the Finnish interior, design, and furniture fair Habitare with home related products from some 70 companies. “It was a success and we received several requests to export our Finnish Home to international fairs as well. But it would have been way too expensive; to rent that big a space, to transport all the products, big and small, from several companies…. It just wouldn’t have been feasible.”
In search of new, innovative ways to help the member companies to present physical products like in real life but without having to worry about space constraints or costs for logistics Johanna and the team got interested in virtual reality. That is where Stereoscape stepped in; SMARTSCAPE –virtual showroom offered just the right solution for building the Finnish home in virtual reality.
The Virtual KOTI by Design from Finland is a virtual reality application showcasing products from some 25 Finnish design companies all under the same, virtual, roof. It is a first ever production to allow an immersive experience with such a large number of products from so many different companies.
Visitors to the virtual Finnish home can enter the two-floor concrete masonry house, stroll from downstairs to upstairs, kitchen to living room, bathroom to bedroom. They can walk inside the rooms and see the furniture and decorations; just like in a real world housing or furniture fair. Except that in the virtual home there are no “Do not touch” signs. The visitor can always grab any of the showcased products with the help of the handheld controllers to move them, to rotate them for a closer look.
Stereoscape created the virtual experience using 3D models of the exhibited products. Everything from the house itself to the household appliances, from the office chair to the sofas and lamps, and from the wooden carved drinking cup to the diamond on the nightstand is a VR model built from the participating companies digital assets.
“The project opened up a whole new world for us. We are happy that so many companies were willing to join. We all learned a lot; from VR and its possibilities but also from the 3D world in general. Technology is developing so fast it is crucial to jump on board now to stay ahead of the game.”, says Johanna Lahti. “And this is just a start, we will launch the next version of the House 2018”.
The Virtual KOTI by Design from Finland made its first appearance at the Finnish interior, design, and furniture fair Habitare 2017. In the future the home and all the products in it can be experienced both in Finland and abroad. What was not feasible earlier is now made possible with the virtual showroom.
The companies presenting their products in the Virtual KOTI by Design from Finland are:
Festivo, Finarte, Genelec, Hakolan, Innolux, Isku, Jämerä, Kalustetukku, Kupilka, Johanna Lehtinen, Laulumaa, Lindroos, Lumokids, Melaja, MyKolme, Polaria, Puulon, Salli Systems, Stala, Tapettitehdas, Temal, VM Carpet.