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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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Interview Irmin Verstappen, the independent Interior Designer and 3D visualizer from Belgium

Tell us something about yourself.

I am an Interior Designer working in Belgium. I graduated in 1994 and have been working for several companies since then. Until in 2010, when I started working as an independent designer and 3D visualiser. Today I also work as a teacher in Sketchup, trying to inspire people to use the program for their line of work...

How do you get hooked with SketchUp?

It must have been in 2007, working an a project for a client who couldn't picture the hand drawn sketches I made of a design, when I searched for a tool or program, to do this visualisation proces. There where a few programs available, but Sketchup was free, so I tried it. After while I stopped making hand drawn sketches, but used the different styles in the program, bought the book 'Sketchup for dummies', and the rest is history...

You perform as an Interior Designer. How do you utilize SketchUp for interior design? Which version of SketchUp is most suitable for interior design?

I use Sketchup not only to visualise my ideas, but also to actually design. Most of my concepts start when I'm driving or when I can't sleep at night, and then, the day after, I transform them into Sketchup. I hardly ever start on a piece of paper anymore, or maybe when there is no computer around...

Besides a successful Interior Designer, you also work as 3D visualizer. What are the benefits of applying SketchUp for visualization? Focus on some new ideas which will act as the next generation of visual communication.

When my collegues started to notice my 3D work, I got the question whether I would like to do this for them as well, and currently this is almost 50% of my activity. The reason for using Sketchup is very simple: you can start of for free, even with free render programs, it is easy to use, and you get quick results (even for a newbie). When you like it, you can buy it at a very competitive price, compared to other software...

Which project gave you complete satisfaction in which you applied SketchUp successfully?

I get satisfaction out of every project in wich I use my visualisations in a way that I can convince a client to go ahead with my concept. I know for a fact that in some cases if I wouldn't have used Sketchup, I couldn't have sold the project. There are very few people that can understand a '2D plan', and most of the times a customer insists on a 3D picture...

What are the pros and cons of SketchUp?

There are a lot of pros, very few cons. The pros I already mentioned... And in the pro version you get all the extras, import and export features... Also the fact that you can easily modify and extend the software with numerous plugins.

Another very important pro is that it's no problem to interact between other 2D and 3D software.

Come to think of it, it's hard to find any cons...

What new features should be upgraded with SketchUp in near future?

I can't think of any, the plugins make it so easy to adjust the program to your own specific needs. Or maybe something so that it is usable on a tablet... not just a viewer.

Who are your inspirations in Interior Designing/3D visualization?

The classics I guess, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe. Also I am a fan of Arne Jacobsen.

You are a professional teacher and take classes on SketchUp. Please tell something about that.

About 2 years ago I was asked to become a teacher to give classes on Sketchup for adults. These lessons are split into 2 groups, the beginners (people who basicly have no knowledge of Sketchup) and the advanced class. Throughout these classes, we start with the very basics, to eventually evolve into the more specifics of Sketchup (such as landscaping, animations, ...)

What are your hobbies?

As an independant, I work long hours, so there is not much time for hobbies, but I do own a classic Citroen DS, and whenever there is something to do in the neighborhood with oldtimers, you will probably find me and my son there!

What suggestion do you want to provide to the budding interior designer?

It's not going to be an easy ride, lots of competition, but try to remain faithfull to your ideas and goals...

Provide your feedback for SketchUp-ur-space magazine and how to make it more appealing to SketchUp lovers?

I would like it if I could download each issue as a pdf, sort of a magazine such as 'Catch up' from Sketchucation. That way it would be more than a website.

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