Technology is contributing to building our homes and spaces in more ways than we could have imagined. Consumers, as well as designers, have continuously been leveraging on technology to take design into their own hands for creating new home spaces or designing home and furniture pieces. Technology is a time-saver and innovations in that field only add to its efficiency in implementation and communication, be it in fashion or design.
“While technological breakthroughs in the last 10 years have had a significant impact on the world of interior design, future innovations are poised to permanently change the relationship between consumers and designers.” – Kay Sorin :Luxury Daily
The influence of technology in interior design over the years has been notable from new product offerings to changing the way we design; a whole new range of possibilities has been created. We won’t try to capture every element of design in one article and how technology has contributed to it. Rather, we will showcase our top 3 ways technology has impacted interior and home design, and share with you tangible impact.
- Product and Design Development
The internet has not only brought online commercial purchasing and mood board creation to life through countless pinning activities, but it has also created the opportunity for the entire home space design from the comfort of our homes. Imagine being able to work with interior designers from all over the world and redesigning a space. These two companies below demonstrate that technology has its benefits and the amount of time saved is incredible.
Laurel & Wolf
They are the leading online interior design service founded by Leura Fine, featured on Forbes’ 2016 30 under 30 list. The idea came out of the desire to connect clients and designers through a digital platform. From her home dining room, she launched Laurel & Wolf in 2014 and it has rapidly grown to a team of 60 employees and more than 1,000 interior designers.
This is how it works. You begin the process by taking their style quiz so they can learn more about your unique design aesthetic style, with quirky questions like “which of these feels most like your perfect Saturday?” (As pictured below). You then fill their design brief, answer a few questions, upload photos and sketch out a plan. From choosing your package deal to finding the perfect designer to work with, the convenience is unbelievable. In the end, you receive the finalized design, style board, floor plan, room layout and complete shopping list. The beauty of this is that the time spent meeting the designer, visiting the space, back and forth meetings and approval of furnishings (having visited all shops known to man) is completely cut out.
Convenient, yes indeed. Sign me up!
Red Clay Design
Have a product in mind you’ve always wanted to make and not sure how to do it? Or perhaps you’ve had an idea for a prototype and won’t know where to begin nor where to manufacture it. This company takes online design to a whole other level. As a designer, you may not need to do all the heavy lifting in trying to conceptualize your product range. Red Clay Design brings high-end industrial design that much closer to you by doing the whole process online. Imagine you’ve always wanted to design the perfect dining table, that modern coffee table or range of kitchen utensils and having it manufactured for you to spec.
“Our platform simplifies product design, connecting freelance designers with iconic brands and providing tools to manage the process.” – Abigail Kiefer from Red Clay Design.
In the end, the project is finalized by purchasing the technical design files of the product from Red Clay, which officially and legally transfers ownership from the design community to you. You then own all the sketches, renderings and technical files that you bought and are ready to go into production with prototype or manufacture-ready files. Something that would have required much more when it comes to time, resources and travel expenses has just been made easier.
Watch how it works below.
The Nóize Chairs
Developed in 2012 by Estudio Guto Requena, the Nóize Chairs are the product of 3D modeling of digital sound recording files made of the streets of Sãu Paulo. They described the process as “[c]ity voices, suburban noises and the resonance of concrete deconstruct Brazilian design landmarks in one piece which value a design process over their mere aesthetics result.” Watch the videos below to see this chair come to life.
Images © Photographer: Tomek Sadurski
- Increased Efficiency and Collaboration
Thanks to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and virtual reality, everyone working on a project coordinates and communicates seamlessly; increasing accuracy, quick design adaptation and minimizing errors. BMI is a 3D model based process that increases efficiency in planning, design, construction and managing design projects from anywhere in the world. With the aid of virtual reality, projects, designs and concepts can come to life before breaking ground or buying any material. With the ability to finalise all the details, both the designer and client can truly determine its viability much earlier.
Speaking of collaboration, the advent of technology has helped bring together industries that wouldn’t ordinarily partner. Some may argue that technology has hampered true and honest communication but it has also brought us closer together. An example is David Adjaye, a world-renowned leading architect of his generation, born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents who has an artist’s sensibility and vision. He collaborated with Knoll Textiles in the US to create the Adjaye Collection, which was digitally printed to mimic building textures. The collection infuses elements of his favorite cities on the continent displaying his perspective through varied weave structures and print techniques. The collection features six upholsteries, two draperies and one wall covering.
“I like to collaborate with artists that see space and structure as integral to their work. It involves a merging of skills and aesthetics to create something that has more potential than either discipline can achieve on its own.” – Daivd Adjaye – Image(c)Dezeen
- Space Enhancement
Smart homes are just as much a thing as smart watches. The new age of technological integration into our everyday spaces is right around the corner. From smart fridges telling you what you need to buy when you’re in the supermarket to smart kitchens showing you your schedule and even recipes based on the food you place on the smart counter. The opportunities for seamless integration, efficiency and information sharing in the home is exciting.
Check out the video below on the “Kitchen of Tomorrow”.
There is no way we could leave out the developments in 3D printing in design. Although 3D printing has been around for 30 years, it was mostly used for prototypes and concept models. Now, 3D printing is drastically transforming the ways designers create, produce and manufacture.
Let us also look at the 3D printed single-story office building where people actually work; which of course is in Dubai. This is a true story. The building cost $140,000, which is much cheaper due to reduced labor costs, took 17 days to print with 2 days to assemble and opened on 23 May 2016. Entirely printer-made including the furnishings and interior, it can be found inside Dubai’s Emirates Towers and now serves as the temporary home for the Dubai Future Foundation.
Take a look at Janne Kyttanen, a Finish digital sculptor, who designed the lounge chair printed over several days with 6000 layers layered on top each other. This lounge chair weights 2.5kg and can hold up to 100kg.
As seen above, the incredible reality of 3D printing home wear is the possibility of making each piece unique and custom made (for now because of the cost).But most importantly, it saves on raw materials being used and may – in the long run – turn out cheaper. And it’s not just 3D printing, but all the technological advances as above shows us that our homes will only be more integrated and design will evolve in ways we cannot possibly imagine.
The future is truly convenience at out fingertips. Does it excite you or scare you?