Advances in technology have shaped the design of homes and offices for decades. Many have gone unnoticed by you. Advancements in interior design were often felt within the profession. Developments in upholstery, window covering, wall and floor finishing have been applied by designers and tradespersons to deliver a premium product/service. But as you know, technology can move in leaps and bounds and today we are witnessing the evolution as it relates to your home. In the very near future these developments will not go unnoticed. They will impact decisions regarding the design of your space. Today our contemporary interior design firm sheds light on real world technology that will enhance the function, feel, and look of your home.
4 Technological Advancements (with practical implications) that Apply to the Interior Design of Your Space
1. The “Internet of Things” is Moving into Your Home
image: courtesy of digitaltrends.com
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the global network of physical objects that includes devices, vehicles, buildings and other articles that are embedded with technology, software, sensors, and WiFi network connectivity to enable them to collect and exchange data. For the purposes of interior design, IoT can include appliances, doors, fans, fireplaces, furniture, home entertainment, lighting installations, window shutters, and more. If you can envision it in your space it can be internet-enabled. While you’re seeing IoT in action in the workspace and in your home to a lesser extent (appliances, home entertainment, etc.) this network will grow beyond imagination in the years ahead. Mattresses are now connected, with practical applications that gauge your sleep patterns, but developments are taking the concept a step further. There is a smart duvet that includes an alarm clock feature and is being updated to lock your doors at night, turn off your lights and make your coffee in the AM. We’ve entered an age where your home is not just a space, but a fully functional form of online intelligence.
2. 3D Imaging and Printing Will Shape Your Design and Decor
3D printed furniture is about to leave the prototype phase and exit concept homes to become a practical means of introducing customized furnishings into your home. Contemporary furniture designers and manufacturers are garnering praise for their artistic yet fully functional 3D renditions. In addition to furniture, 3D home accents and decor are hitting the market and include everything from kitchen/bathroom faucets and door handles to vases and lighting installations. As the technology progresses in the year ahead, manufacturers will be able to deliver larger customized items to fulfill client orders, including sofas and dining room tables. If you can imagine it, it can be 3D-imagined, printed, and delivered to your home.
3. Augmented/Virtual Reality Will Put You in the Room (before it exists)
Augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) is leaving the trade show floor and is set to become one of the most practical uses of technology in interior design. Companies such as Augment and Oculus Rift are being solicited to aid in architecture, construction, and interior design. AR/VR allows architects, design-builders, and interior designers the ability to manipulate a virtual rendition of a construct or space in order to gauge both the functional and aesthetic nuances of new additions. But it goes beyond the service provider experience. Interior designers will be able to take your existing layout, input it into the program and provide you with as true to the experience as possible. You will be able to enter your virtual home (after 3D imaging has been taken of the property) and get a feel for design changes before you make any decisions. Of course there are some that would suggest that the concept can take your VR experience a step further. New Scientist has released an article discussing the prospect of living in a virtually-designed room, as a means to declutter your life in the home. The concept prescribes to the Kondo concept of drastically pruning possessions to free up space:
“In fact, those most prepped for VR may be those of us who already embrace the kind of lifestyle advocated by Marie Kondo, who champions what she calls ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up’” (Geoff Managua, New Urbanist)
4. Mobile Apps Enhance DIY Hybrid
The Google Play and iTunes app store category for interior design continues to grow. We find ourselves having to update our own recommendations for top apps more often than ever before. They represent the more practical of technological advancements because they are already mainstream. The influx of new interior design and decorating apps has created a do-it-yourself hybrid experience that integrates DIY mythology with professional interior design services. Apps such as Homestyler Interior Design create a 3D virtual environment that allow you to envision how furnishings, decor, and installations will look in your home. From there, you can present the rendition/s to your local interior design firm. Other apps like MagicPlan let you create a virtual floor plan for your home that integrates actual work estimates (including regional taxes) sourced from local contractors. More sophisticated apps are also gaining ground. With Home Design 3D Gold you can draw rooms, alter shapes/orientation, create openings, add walls, introduce decor, and adjust natural/artificial lighting in a drag-and-drop environment. The Dropbox sharing functions of the app allow you to synchronize your projects with your interior designer and/or decorator.
Stay tuned as our interior design centre continues to stay on top of technological developments in the industry, as they apply to you.