Technology & how it has changed Interior Design
Let's talk about how new design & organisational software is changing the way we deliver our services to the you, our clients and what to expect if you're hiring a designer today.
Technology has made just about everything in our lives faster and easier, and design is no exception. Interior design used to be a face-to-face thing – think mood-board viewings, on-site walk-throughs and showroom visits – but it’s increasingly moving to the remote format with so much of the process being conducted on line.
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.
Finding the right designer - connecting A few years ago, if you were looking for an interior designer, you’d probably ask that friend or neighbour who had recently redecorated for a recommendation. But today, you’d go straight online. Thanks to social media and of course the internet, interior design is accessible to almost everyone, allowing interior designers to showcase their work broadly and tailor a campaign to reach their ideal target market. This means homeowners can easily find a designer to suit their needs, requirements and budget, without having to rely purely on a recommendation. In saying that, word of mouth is still a great way to find a designer especially if you've seen the result of a project and love it.
Online inquiries and research I receive many inquiries via my website. I find that clients use technology to qualify a potential designer before they engage one. Sometimes I wonder how we managed to design before we adapted to the technologies we now use but because I've been in the industry for so long, I remember the good old days and how it was done. When I started working in this industry over two decades ago, having a mobile phone was still a novelty and I used to hand write and use carbon paper so I had a copy of the notes. When I go to my client meetings these days, I consider my phone and laptop essential tools not only to keep records but to help provide clarity to my clients of various concepts.
Technology is and an amazing tool to help with visualisation and communication.
E:Introductions Working relationships will often commence electronically now, with initial contact being facilitated by email and a sharing of information across electronic platforms and software, until the point where an initial on-site consultation is arranged. This is likely to be the first face-to-face meeting. Interior design is a very personalised service and I still believe the initial consultation should be held in-person where possible. This is an opportunity to get to know each other, understand the project and get a sense of the space and the space we’re working with. Following up with a virtual call is a great way to discuss the proposal or develop ideas following a presentation.
Simplifying the process - who needs paperwork any more? Tech is streamlining many of those time-consuming, back-of-house tasks too. My process often leans into the technologies available depending on my client and the project. This is evident from booking appointments through calendar apps and logging time, platforms that allow me to draw a 3D spatial plan or to project colours onto a building to create a montage. I am happy I no longer need to lug hefty catalogues and bulky samples. Or using online pin boards to help cement a client’s style, likes and dislikes. These tools are invaluable and help to cut out or reduce the paperwork.
I do love the feel of a pen in my hand but the convenience is priceless!
Location doesn't matter anymore
Imagine being able to work with interior designers from any location and redesigning a space. Visual Edge has been working with people from all over Australia and New Zealand in recent years and there's no reason why my clients cant be located anywhere in the world. Especially for new builds and retail design, remote design is something that can very easily be done from any location. No need for onsite visits if the client has accurate plans and images. I love the autonomy that this process affords me and hope to further grow this aspect of my work into the future.
Increased Efficiency and Collaboration
Thanks to technology, everyone working on a project coordinates and communicates seamlessly; increasing accuracy, quick design adaptation and minimizing errors. There are so many platforms that increase 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.
The collaboration process often involves a merging of skills and aesthetics to create something that has more potential than either discipline can achieve on its own. These collaborations have 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.