Visualisation is a powerful way to bring certainty and confidence to major projects. Our team produce compelling models, simulations and other digital experiences to help clients explore their schemes in sensory detail.

These visually rich, virtual, acoustic simulations bring people closer to designs, build public confidence and investor support throughout the lifecycle of a project or programme.

Designs that work for everyone

At Arup, we believe that design should be human-centred – and that means it should work for everyone. The powerful tools we have developed mean we can now model the world for those who experience it differently, testing a design can be navigated by those with neuro-diverse conditions, or visual and hearing impairments.

Modelling experiences that engage

Too many projects fail to gain support and momentum, simply because they’re badly communicated. Misperceptions are allowed to take hold. Infrastructure projects usually take many years to complete, and it’s important to use visual and experiential storytelling techniques that virtual reality can offer, to maintain support and engagement throughout the project lifecycle. Beyond depicting how a project might ‘look’, visualisation is now a vital engagement tool on successful projects and programmes.

Our approach combines visual expertise you would normally find in the film industry, backed by deep insights into the built environment and project delivery. We produce compelling experiences that engage public, investor and policy-making audiences alike. These cost effective solutions can be applied in a range of industry contexts including projects in architecture, engineering, masterplanning, landscaping, product design, training, public events and artistic installations.

Experience of neuro-divergent people imagined in this visualisation film
We can now model the world for those who experience it differently, testing a design can be navigated by those with neuro-diverse conditions, or visual and hearing impairments.


Planning approval is more likely to be gained, when you can demonstrate your thinking visually. Visualisations, whether still or animated, can be a powerful way to communicate the proposed experience a new building, district or facility is intended to produce. Understandable fears about change can be assuaged when local communities can see how a scheme will look, feel and connect to the existing site. 

Visualisation of the London 2012 Olympic Park and surrounding area
We used this technique to help make the case for the London 2012 Games site – which amounted to a major regeneration of a large area of east London. Visualisations helped to build confidence in decision makers, on everything from security to lighting to pedestrian modelling and media needs.

Digital engagement

We provide visual and experiential tools that will help get a project off the ground, illustrating relevant user stories or journeys, reflecting a scheme’s true impact and potential in an engaging way. 

At Heathrow Airport, our sound booths allowed the public to experience air noise changes, in an immersive VR experience.

Operational simulations

Our team can now simulate every aspect of a proposed service or experience – acoustically, visually, spatially – allowing teams to explore improvements, gauge operating costs, and gain public feedback. This is particularly valuable when a new service or structure represents a significant addition to an area – particularly valuable as new transport infrastructure or sporting facilities are being planned.

For High Speed 2 in the UK, we developed an immersive model that reassured decision-makers, the public and operators about the new line’s design, experience and impacts. This work led to quantified improvements to the overall design specifications for the new service. 

I think the Soundbooths have been a really popular addition to the consultations that have been ongoing now for about a year because they take a very complicated topic and give a real reference point for the conversations that we have with members of the public.

Emma Gilthorpe

Director for Expansion, Heathrow

Visualisation portals

These help project design teams and stakeholders to view proposals and systems across scales, context, design and data. They help to enable focus on often less tangible factors like the environmental impact or the social benefits of a proposed project. These tools are an effective way to ensure everyone’s understanding and expectations stay aligned throughout the project.