In 2022, Vancouver-based Article joined a long list of Canadian tech firms who, pressured by sudden economic shifts, made the difficult decision to downsize.
“Today is a very difficult day at Article,” chief executive Aamir Baig wrote in a memo last August, as his company . “This is my fault.”
Baig let go of more than 200 “Particles,” as team members are referred to—which amounted to nearly one-fifth of the company’s total headcount at the time.
It was a first for Article, who had known only growth since being founded a decade ago in 2013. For example, the upstart placed 159th on the Globe and Mail’s 2021 list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies with three-year revenue growth of 272%. And in 2019 Article was named Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company by Canadian Business based on five-year revenue growth of 24,182%.
“Put simply, we were living beyond our means,” Baig admitted.
Moving forward, the leaner Article is exploring new avenues, including leveraging computer-generated imagery tech and skills to bolster its platform offerings.
The ecommerce company is aiming to build a full-fledged 3D & CGI team—and is already actively hiring for several roles, including Senior 3D Designer and Virtual Production Manager, in an effort to do so.
Through CGI, “Shoppers are able to get an unmatched sense of Article’s product catalogue through multiple product images and angles, highlighting design, materials, colours, textures, scale, proportions, and functionality,” the BC company states online.
Additionally, “products are featured in bespoke architectural interior environments designed to inspire customers by representing how their products come to life in rooms,” Article offers.
As a result, “customers gain a thorough understanding of a product’s relative scale within a space and how beautifully the full range of products work together.”
Article’s catalogue hosts a variety of design profiles, ranging from Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian to Boho and Industrial. By leveraging CGI, “customers will not only better understand this variety of styles in Article’s Design DNA, but get a sense of how seamlessly all the products within their catalogue work together,” the company explains.
Article’s CGI ambitions will be realized through two specialized teams with high synergy. A 3D Modelling team will be responsible for accurate virtual product representations of all products, while a Visualization team will work on image conceptualization and image generation for Article’s scene library.
The Canadian company has future plans to expand its CGI tech into mixed reality, as well as utilize artificial intelligence, to “expand the horizons of the ecommerce shopping experience.”
“This transformative approach offers us the speed and flexibility to remain highly competitive and carve out new ways to impress customers and gain market share,” Article asserts.