What’s next in fit-out technology?

To me, technology means employing intelligence to solve problems that cannot be otherwise solved. It’s like using fire for cooking…and that might be the first technology mankind ever used.

Interior design-and-build means the use of technology.

Design holds a special place in our collective history because of its omnipresence – from everything manmade to when we bend or contort nature to our will. It’s in your home, car, the mobile, key or pen in your hand, or the canal you cross every day.

Design must therefore empathise with all human needs. Human interaction, inputs, feedback and assistance play key roles in empathy. Any technology that improves design and human interaction must be welcomed.

But todaydigital technology is taking away the magic of human touch and its nuances. It must be carefully evaluated before we race to implement it. Otherwise, instead of perfecting the fishing rod, we will be 3D printing fish!

Yes, I do use Photoshop for image editing and CAD to output floorplans, but not to design. When it comes to deploying Grasshopper within Rhino 3D* for generating random design options, I do think we’re rolling the dice into a foreboding darkness that holds zero human empathy.

This also holds true for the build side of the business. We use laser measuring, photometer and other manufacturing and efficiency-enabling tools. But we must remember that the heart and soul of the design process is the craft, which is honed through the understanding of material and its possibilities with interactions and usage. That’s why you constantly chat, check on and pay your home builder, right? Even in a readymade apartment or office block, you build interiors to customize and personalize the space.

We must nurture craft, design skills and the use of technology to solve problems, rather than running amok with virtual reality, 3D printing and artificial intelligence because it’s there, the world is racing to use it, or we just must use it for some imagined efficiencies.

All these innovations have its place in enhancing, modelling and client presentations. They’re also vital in complex industries like healthcare or Oil Gas, where the health and safety of operators and communities are at stake.

Summing up, it’s not about printing 3D pizzas for future generations, but fostering empathy, understanding and imparting hardcore design with human touch.

*Grasshopper is a visual programming language and environment that runs within the Rhinoceros 3D CAD software application.


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