Empowering Tech

Emerging technologies can help communicate the value of interior design and drum up new business—here’s how to put them to work for you.

by Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC

Like other professions, interior design encompasses a language of its own, from understanding the principles and benefits of well-designed interiors, to the programming analysis of end-users and environmental impacts. This language is deeply understood by those of us who are part of the industry, but it often flies over the head of those who are not consumers of design services. Communicating the intrinsic value of interior design and the benefit of our work to external audiences and potential consumers has long been a challenge for the profession.

The interior design field has changed dramatically in recent years, and a large part of that change has been due to the influx of technology in our lives. And while it seems reasonable to expect that technology would provide an excellent conduit to communicate these messages, that hasn’t quite been the case.

The tech explosion has increased access to information, enhanced our ability to communicate and perpetuated a desire to know more. It has also led to increased consumer confidence in their own “DIY” abilities regarding everything from medical diagnosis to financial planning to interior design. This newly educated and empowered consumer means we now need new tactics to develop and sustain our businesses—these tactics must include emphasizing the value of interior design.

The ability to acquire and sort information, data and research continues to influence the design of interior environments and uniquely positions designers to effectively apply this information. New business models that provide greater exposure to clients and the marketplace are being created all the time. Evidence-based design and the application of research has become increasingly important, and is one way that designers can use technology to respond to market demands and educate clients on the impact of design solutions. Virtual business is developed as people, conversations and products are posted, followed, tweeted or liked, resulting in relationships across a network that has no boundaries.

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