Transforming Spaces With Visual Architects

TOAST.Life talks to Lefteris Angelidis about transforming spaces into experiences with Visual Architects

Looking for event wow factor? Then look no further. TOAST.Life chats to Lefteris Angelidis, founder of event décor and installation specialists Visual Architects, to hear how he and his team take ordinary spaces and transform them in to completely unforgettable party experiences.

From incredible aerial inflatables and immersive performance artists, to show-stopping light shows and stunning 3D visuals, every style-savvy host is looking to create the wow factor at their next event; something to delight and excite your guests, get tongues wagging, and most definitely end up plastered all over Instagram. One company who are renowned for their ability to add the unforgettable to any event is the aptly named Visual Architects – experts in transforming spaces into wow factor experiences.

"We take any space and transform it into a theme - we are great at making events fully immersive” explains Lefteris Angelidis, Visual Architects’ founder, creative director and managing director.

“We find that having a great DJ and great venue isn't enough now, more and more people want to have a fully immersive experience with décor, lights, special effects and more.”

Visual Architects Alice Keyhole

Visual Architects Garden

Visual Architects Stage

Visual Architects Staging

With their expert approach to venue customisation, Visual Architects have worked with everyone from major festivals and leading club promoters, to event and wedding planners, private individuals and more, providing their unique style of venue transformation. They boast an extensive selection of specialist equipment, props and products, from the slick and stylish to the weird and wonderful and everything in between, and they also have an experienced design and development team who can create bespoke décor if you’re looking for something specific or completely personal.

“Where other companies are more specific in what they do when it comes to either doing décor and styling or working in production, we have a vast array of elements that we tie together in order to achieve the theming of the space” explains Lefteris. 

“We have hundreds of unique pieces, from aerial inflatables and 3D structures to elegant draping and stretch fabric installations, we can cater for any event imaginable. If you have an idea, we can make it happen!”

Illuminate Visual Architects

Illumination Visualarchitects

Illuminaughty Visual Architects

Before founding Visual Architects, half-Greek half-English Lefteris studied Media Production at university before setting up IllumiNaughty (which he continues to run); a company redefining the clubbing experience by combining a unique mix of music genres, performance, décor and more to create an immersive live music experience, from single-room venues, to six stage warehouses.

“My passion started with festivals, which lead me to start IllumiNaughty, and IllumiNaughty was actually the beginning of Visual Architects Lefteris explains. 

“After a few years of IllumiNaughty we built up so much décor and experience, so we created Visual Architects. Initially, clients only wanted a couple of inflatables and various bits to add into their venue, but now people want the whole shebang. They want the full experience.”

And if it’s the whole shebang that you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place; whether it’s event décor ranging from hanging installations and aerial inflatables, full stage design or bespoke DJ booths, special effects, lasers, lights, 3D mapping and other visual artistry or even a team of live performance artists to really bring your event to life, Visual Architects offer it all.

“An architect is a person that devises, plans and makes, and this is exactly what we do to the visual impact of a space, hence the name felt very appropriate” Lefteris explains.

“We can work anywhere someone wants to host an event, the space doesn’t really affect us, but ultimately, the space needs to resemble the theme we are trying to portray everywhere guests look.”

Visual Architects Circus

Visual Architects

With any given space, there are four elements that Lefteris and his team will look at; the first is the stage or the main focal point that your guests will be looking at, as this is what will remain in their memory the most. Then they look at the ceiling space, so that this also ties in with the theme - as Lefteris says, the last thing you want is a ceiling covered in various items such as pipes that don’t fit the theme. They then look at hanging elements throughout the venue to further fulfil the overall vision and impact and finally, floor standing elements get placed around the space, some that guests can interact with, others that are just static pieces that tie the theme together.

“When you think of various themes, whether it’s Alice in Wonderland, a circus theme or a Gatsby theme, adding just a few elements won't make it into an experience. We want people who walk into a space that we have transformed to feel part of the theme, and to feel like they are walking into the film or the dimension that we are trying to portray. We want people to feel part of it, and that is why we strive to transform a bland or plain space into something that will really carry people away.”

Visual Architects Umbrella Warehouse

Visual Architects Hive

In order to do this, Visual Architects offer a mind-boggling array of techniques and specialist equipment; they have ‘ceiling transformations’, from simple stretch fabric to elaborately themed décor that spans from other-worldly chandeliers and suspended LED boxes, to incredible lighting fixtures, amazing aerial inflatables (think giant spheres, flowers, butterflies, stars, clouds and more) and elaborate installations that can span across an entire venue.  Whilst ‘floor transformations’ include vast archways, cages, totem poles, pillars, tusks, life-sized trees, animals, and more.

“Our most popular theme at the moment is the circus, it seems to be a theme that a lot of people want, and guests love it. I think the reason for this is that everyone associates the circus with something crazy - something they go to when they are kids and it's weird and wonderful” explains Lefteris.

“On par with that is Alice in Wonderland. I think generally the story sits well with a lot of people and everyone remembers the magical world of Alice in Wonderland when they were little, so having nostalgic themes like that takes them back to that magical place” he adds.

“And one very popular floor standing piece is our inflatable elephant. Wherever we place it, everyone wants to get pictures with it!”

Visual Architects PerformerVisual Architects Elephant

As well as their incredible arsenal of props and décor, Visual Architects can also provide a team of live performance artists who will further bring any theme or event to life. They have a large network of performance artists covering all disciplines, including acrobats, illusionists, fire-breathers, contortionists, circus acts and more.

“Performers are great because they add movement and interactivity with guests” explains Lefteris. “We make our own costumes to match the themes so that the performers and the décor are in sync and it all looks like one - this really helps creating the overall experience.”

And if you thought all that was enough; you were wrong. Visual Architects can also provide a large number of wow factor special effects, lighting and laser solutions for events of all shapes and sizes, whether it’s CO2 cannons, smoke machines, pyrotechnics, laser setups and more. They can also supply super on trend LED and visual projections, from simple image and video projection to full 3D mapping; their expert in-house design team can create bespoke lighting designs that can be fitted and mapped onto almost any structure imaginable - whether you’re going for a futuristic feel or a more traditional look.

Visual Architects Fire

Visual Architect Table

“We build structures ourselves that can be fully mapped. For example, we have a massive pyramid that a DJ was playing in and all the sides were mapped fully and brought the pyramid to life” says Lefteris.

“A more intricate example is some big heads we are making for our next event which will be fully mapped - all parts of the head will have various visuals, so the eyes will be different to the hair and the nose. In addition to that, the visuals can give movement to a still structure, so the hair can look like it’s moving. I think décor that has more movement is probably the future in terms of events.” 

All this event magic-making happens at the Visual Architects’ studio in Stockport, where they have an abundance of in-house expertise, from designers, carpenters, painters, riggers and more.  The first time a new theme is ready to be rolled out, Lefteris and his team quality control it; they check all the elements and then make sure things are corrected and rebuilt if they don’t look as good as they are meant to for the next event. They also try to trial bigger themes at IllumiNaughty, so that they can tweak any imperfections before a client may want to use it. 

“The IllumiNaughty events are our own events, so we go all out! We manage every aspect of it from the sound, lights, artists - every last detail goes through us so we can create the full experience” explains Lefteris. Visual Architects Illuminaughty Scene

And when it comes to inspiration, and being able to come up with new, innovative props, original and exciting themes, and big, bold ideas all time – what does Lefteris suggest to keep the creative juices flowing? 

 “Read stories, watch films and observe what goes on around you. Travelling is also a big help for me as most ideas come when I'm not in my hometown” he explains.

Other than that, try to escape a little bit from the day-to-day chores and activities – that’s when new ideas will start to form...” 

You can find more about Visual Architects on their page in Toast.Life’s Little Black Book.  

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