01/30/2013

The Tech Effect

Technology is a constant presence for many of us, but how is that changing how we interact with and design the next generation of interiors?

By James Williamson, IIDA, LEED AP

 

We rely on technology on a daily basis. If you were asked, right now, to unload all of the electronic devices from your bag, purse or pockets, how many would there be? My guess is that you probably have more than you need (or expect).

As the interior design community continues to deepen its embrace of technology, it’s apparent that our firms’ practices are changing as well. Emerging technologies now have a direct impact on how we design spaces for clients, as innovative ideas must create a seamless user experience, manage sizeable amounts of data or simply help navigate a space. These factors change the way people interact with and experience interiors. When you create a strong brand for yourself and a human connection with the customer or product in a strategically designed space, you are utilizing the advantages of emerging technology.

Take, for example, the Apple store. I cannot remember the last time I waited in line. The retail environment is specifically designed so that there are more customer service representatives than there are cash registers. You can seek out a one-on-one consultation or you can self-checkout with the Apple store app on your smartphone. All of the company’s products are available to test drive and Genius Bar appointments can be scheduled in advance. The Apple store offers a unique and positive experience in a strategically designed space, which allows for interaction with the product and an enjoyable customer experience while clearly harnessing technology to their advantage.


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