We’re curious. We want to know. We have a question and we want an answer. How does technology help interior design? Does it make the process easier? Does it speed up the process? Does it save time? Can you give us a detailed example of how technology improves or enhances your work or process?
Our answer to this question is a resounding “yes,” and here’s why:
How does technology improve the process?
It speeds up the process: More than any other aspect of our work, the design process can be sped up by technology. For example, do you know that having an online order form can actually decrease your production time by almost 50%? Or that in some cases designing with Sketch can save up to 15%, when used in conjunction with a designer-made mockup?
How does it speed up the process?
It saves time: It’s not just about making things more efficient – designers have always had to be creative in order to stay abreast of developments in their field. They designed things from scratch and then painstakingly hand drew everything from sketches to colour schemes. They used books, magazines and even really old computers (remember those?) to learn about retouching techniques and colour palettes that were still relevant in their respective industries at that time. Nowadays there are so many resources available online (like Sketch) that you can easily refer back to your work whenever you want or need it. But this is not even half of what is possible thanks to technology!
Technology’s Impact on the Industry
With the rise of live streaming and social media, it is easy to forget that there was a time when interiors were designed with an eye for design rather than technology.
For most people, interior design is now considered a hobby or a side-project. But in the past, designers had to make decisions about how modern technology would impact the work they were producing, and how best to use it.
Oftentimes, it was decided that the best way to use technology was in an artistic way:
“It’s not just about what you want your project to look like – it’s about what you want your project to feel like.” This statement by designer Nancy Garber caught my attention. It really struck me as one of her most important contributions: using art as a design tool rather than just as decoration. She is not just talking about colour palettes or textures here – she’s talking about creating something more than just a pretty picture on your wall. We can all agree that looking at our wall gives us pleasure; but she is suggesting that we take pleasure from our project more than simply staring at the wall, looking at its beauty all day long.
“How do you know when your work has been done?” Another question which comes up quite often here at Autocad is “When does creative work end?”:
I don’t know if you have ever sat down and asked yourself this very question before, but I think you will find that it can be quite instructive even if sometimes frustratingly difficult: How do you know when your design has been done? In other words: Feel free to share some of your own answers here!
Imagine having access to all these amazing things users today are doing with their phones… Imagine being able to view any video on YouTube or Facebook with no account needed (and no need for download). Imagine being able to listen to music on Spotify without uploading anything (and without downloading anything). Imagine being able create an entire prototype on SketchUp (without needing any tools). Imagine being able to view anything online without downloading or installing anything! I’m sure these things are amazing! And there are probably many more things we’re not even thinking of yet…. And yet… Technology doesn’t seem capable of doing all those wonderful things. In fact, I would argue that humans have done some amazing things in the past with technology and still haven’t become as awesome as we could be! (And many people still don’t consider computers a tool
The Evolution of the Design Process
Many aspiring interior designers are probably familiar with the AUTOCAD workshop, where they spend several hours in the classroom learning how to apply a variety of design techniques to their projects. It is not uncommon for them to do one or two of these workshops a year — and it is also not uncommon for many of them to stop as quickly as they started because they don’t get enough value from the experience. If you are wondering why, let me share with you what I learned through my own experiences:
AUTOCAD has a brilliant approach to learning about design: everybody can participate. The workshop itself is well organised, with an easy-to-understand curriculum that includes hands-on training in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. At the end of each session, learners receive project files that can be used on any future projects; and at the end of a year, all participants receive certificates that attest to their learning. One could argue this is unproductive use of time — but I have found it to be invaluable. When I started with AUTOCAD in 2011, there were very few professional designers around (which was why I was able to access it so easily); now not only are there many more professionals than when I began (I expect this trend will continue), but also there are many more amateurs than when I began as well. In addition, we have been able to build up an amazing community around this workshop which we would otherwise never have had access too. This community has grown from being a small group of people who met once or twice a year at our local coffee shop (where we often met after work or after school) into becoming bigger groups which meet regularly in person and online — which gives us even more value (in terms of social capital) than before.
You might be wondering why AUTOCAD doesn’t just teach people how to make drawings — but instead teaches them how to design using CAD software tools and tools such as SketchUp and Rhino; why doesn’t it teach people how to draw? The answer lies in what your instructor teaches you: he/she wants you to understand that drawing isn’t just copying whatever comes into your head — drawing is about thinking through possibilities and generating ideas — not necessarily copying the initial idea from someone else’s sketchbook. In fact, most designs come directly out of an idea generated by someone else’s sketchbook! So what does this mean for interior designers? First off: it means that you can use.
Technology and Design Tools
Autocad is a vector-based drawing program that lets you draw objects that look like they’re made of either paper or paint.
I’ll be honest, I found this to be an interesting read. I just love the idea of using technology to work creatively and efficiently. On the flip side, I applied it to a project at work yesterday where we had a large set of similar components (which were all using the same design software). But, with all these different designs, what could we do without being able to see all those different designs side by side?
The answer was an external tool. A quick google search led me to something called a “Venn diagram,” which is basically a diagram that breaks down all the possible combinations of options into their component parts (or “components”), such as “paint + paper” for example. It gives you a visual representation of how many different ways there are to achieve the same thing (and let me tell you, this is more useful than pens and paper).
This tool is also extremely useful in helping us visualise how our designs fit together so that we can make more informed decisions about how best to use any given component for our projects. With Autocad (and other similar tools), we have much greater control over individual design choices and can therefore make better decisions about how each component will fit together with other components — and thereby make even better decisions overall.
Technology and Design Education
There are many ways to learn about interior design. In my opinion, one of the most powerful and least talked about ways is using technology. You may be thinking that this post only applies to those who are starting out in the field, but there is plenty of room for a more in-depth discussion. However, for now, I’ll assume you’re a beginner and focused on learning about interior design through design books, magazines or other resources.
If you’re reading this blog post with any kind of interest at all in interior design, then I think you will have noticed all the different types of online resources available to you (and also recognized that it can get expensive). If not, then allow me to fill you in on some of them:
• Interior Design Magazine: This highly recommended magazine offers a monthly look at new and interesting products and trends in interior design. It also has a rotating list of articles written by industry experts that will help you learn more about your chosen discipline (which often makes its way into the magazine itself).
• Interior Design Books: A good place to start is with books like The Interiors Book ($20), by Jay Ehrlichman; The Dining Room Book ($15) by Alan Cooper; The Home Office Book ($15) by Matthew Leitch; The Modern Office Book ($29) by Geoffrey Nunberg; and others. If you want something a bit deeper or more technical, there are several great books on topics such as colour theory or code-switching (which is the process which relies on a certain type of intuition for successful designs).
• Interior Design Magazines: If you prefer to read articles rather than buying printed copies, we recommend starting with Architectural Record , Architectural Design , House Beautiful , Interior Design Magazine , Interiors Magazine & Interiors Today .
• Interior Design Online Forums: There are some forums devoted specifically to interior design (such as What To Do When Your Child Smells Like an Oven ). But if you prefer reading posts rather than moderated discussions, then consider going here instead: Home Decorating Forum . On this forum there are several different boards specifically dedicated to interior design topics such as colour theory or home office tips.
You may notice that I have mentioned only four types of online resources — magazines and books fall somewhere between these two categories — but there are others just as good or better than these three choices.
Furniture is a very subjective matter and designers are fully capable of creating beautiful pieces of furniture. The big issue is how we communicate our ideas to others.
A lot of the time, we look at the design and perhaps consider it through a certain lens, like someone who has been in our environment for a long time and knows about the furniture we have. However, to better understand what makes something unique, we need to break it down into components:
1.DIMENSIONS: How wide or long is a chair? What does that mean? How high does it have to be? Is it made out of wood, aluminium or plastic?
2.OPTIONS: What is the colour palette? How many colours can you choose from? Are there any specific types of chairs you often use? What colours do you want to use with your furniture?
3.CONSTRUCTION: How did they make the chair (wood by hand vs machine)? How was wood harvested? Was it pre-manufactured or custom made by the manufacturer (or both)?
4.DESIGN: What is the overall design of your piece; how did they choose that design? Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical (or between two different types) or did they allow you to create your own pattern/design/colour scheme?)
We think that as designers we should take great care when communicating our ideas because communicating them well will help us create beautiful furniture that has a sense of individuality, comfort and fun! To begin with, let’s talk about dimensions first: width and length are just two different ways to measure something…the more common measurement for height is feet and inches instead of meters and centimeters. Similarly for width…imagine comparing an 8-foot table with an 8-foot chair really quick. Measuring using feet will give you something closer if your table is 8 feet long but if you are measuring using inches then you may end up with something closer if your table is 8 feet tall but not close enough to say it’s exactly 8 feet long! This can get confusing! So let’s take an example where I am making an armchair that measures 10′ x 10′ x 4′ wide (in American measurements)…we don’t know how wide it has been carved in half yet so I might need to find out whether my armchair will fit inside my living room window frame before I make final cuts! Or maybe I