How Technology has Influenced Interior Design
By Sarah Gerrero
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it is not surprising that we all have become a bit more tech savvy in both our personal and professional lives. However, would you have thought that your house, your clothes, or your favorite artist could incorporate these emerging technologies? You may be surprised at the practical applications of technology and how it can influence the design of your project.
Millenials (those born roughly between 1980-2000) and Gen-Exers, as well as older generations, have become accustomed to living in a world full of tweets, texting and emails; all of which are an instant exchange of information. Living and working in a world where information travels at lighting speeds has a profound impact on the design process – we are now able to design a project half-way across the world, with minimal lag. This helps alleviate a lot of stress related to the design process, especially in our area, where most projects are a seasonal residence.
The tedious, time consuming process of manual sketching has become replaced by the ease of digital drawings. Designers are now able to relay their ideas faster and with greater precision, even early on in the design process. Digital design allows both designers and customers to see the results of their ideas sooner, see the spaces differently, and work in three dimensions. Lumion, a real-time 3-D visualization tool for architects, urban planners and designers, is one such product that allows the client to see the finished product before the ground is even broken.
Advances in art range from digital graphic design to social media to 3-D printing. Both art historians and artists alike are aware of the changes in technology and while some fear it, there are those who embrace it to create a brand new era in the art world. Among art aficionados there is a concern that digitally created art may be viewed as an inauthentic medium that lacks the passion and depth of a piece made “by hand” in the traditional sense. On the contrary, mediums such as cinematography (moving images), are being embraced as a way to capture a moment – if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a moving picture worth? Whether you see these advances as positive or negative, you cannot deny the fact that technology has made art more accessible to a vast audience.
Lighting has become more advanced than just simply being turned on and turned off and LED (light emitting diode) lighting is a prime example. On the practical side, LED’s are available in multiple colors, generate less heat and use a fraction of the energy of older bulbs. Many LED bulbs emit a cooler color temperature (more blue light), which stimulates the photo-receptors in your eyes that reduces melatonin, helping you stay awake. A leader in the industry, Light Science, is also releasing a light called ‘Rhythm Downlight’ which can be controlled by a smart phone app that adjusts the light depending on the persons sleep cycle (side-note: your smart phone emits a blue light and should be avoided when trying to sleep). On the aesthetic side, there are other advantages, one being the ability to control the color temperature in a space, specifically when lighting art – we can now dim from bright to dark, as well as from warm to cool.
Fabrics of the Future
In a world where everything is moving forward and becoming tech savvy, who would have thought that fabric could join in? Judit Eszter Karpati thought it was possible, and for her master’s project she teamed up with a London based company, Cute Circuit, and created a line called Chromosonic. This fabric line reacts to touch, as well as sound. But how? These fabrics have been dyed with thermo-chromatic ink, which changes color when its temperature increases or decreases. For the fabric to react to audio the designer inter-weaved nichrome wires into the fabric; the energy from the sound causes the wires to heat, which in turn, changes the temperature of the ink and changes the color. Oh, and that invisible cloak isn’t too far away either!
At Collins & DuPont we embrace these emerging technologies to help make the design process as seamless as possible and provide the client with the most beautiful, comfortable and convenient design they could have ever imagined.