In a world of interconnectivity, technology naturally belongs in our interior design. However, the marriage of technology and interior decor is not a novelty. In fact, many designers conceive that technological advancement during the Second Industrial Revolution is behind the birth of interior design products. Every major decorating trend throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries and now the start of the 21st century marks a unique relationship to technology, either in terms of technocentrism, tech infusion, or tech reaction.
Technocentrism encouraged individuals to embrace new technology. Mass production during the Industrial Revolution essentially made more items available to more people at a lower cost. As a result, interior decor items could be sold to the working class, enabling the poorest household to aspire to the ornate interiors of the rich society. At the time, the influx of materials contributed to the apparition of interior designers and decorators.
Tech and decor infusion encouraged interior designers to integrate old and new styles in an effort to revive previous design concepts with the advantage of modern technology. Elsie de Wolfe influenced the infusion movement, stripping away heavy Victorian and mass-produced features to emphasise comfort, antique furniture, and cleanliness. The development and adoption of indoor plumbing and modern appliances gradually followed, made possible by De Wolfe’s lead on a space-centric, minimalist interior.
The 1940s awoke the fear of technology, encouraging interior design products to fall back onto traditional approaches. Households maintained a reaction interior, cutting down on technology until the 1960s, where the post-war generation rediscovered the joys of tech gadgets. Eclecticism and the juxtaposition of old and new trends marked the revival of tech interest in interior design. Skip to the post-pandemic period, and it’s fair to say that a mixture of technocentric and tech infusion shape contemporary interior design.
An Approach to Smart Home Design
Home automation and smart home hubs have brought a versatile tech revolution to interior design. Indeed, smart homes transform independent living for seniors and individuals with reduced or limited mobility. A house that can practically think for itself removes a lot of day-to-day household obstacles. Praised for its accessibility, the smart home design is the epitome of connective togetherness. As such, the interior design is fully dedicated to the seamless integration of supportive and assistive technology. It makes life easier, but more importantly, it allows homeowners to customise home management to their preferences.
The interior includes multi-connected and sensory interior design products, tapping into audio, visual, heating and ventilation, security, and lighting features. Appliances and systems within the home are connected via BlueTooth or WiFi, or both. The sky is virtually the limit with fully automated smart interiors where technology replaces the traditional butler: the home is self-cleaning, self-heating, self-lighting, self-locking, and self-ordering to meet the needs of the inhabitant without interfering with day-to-day life. As most appliances and gadgets need to access the home hub, the interior design stages technology and facilitates connectivity through non-obstructive material and decor.
New Surface Without the Hassle
The first historical meaningful advantage of technology in interior design has been cost reduction. Making new products accessible at a lower cost for the working classes to emulate rich interiors is what defined technocentrism in the Victorian area. Technology and cost still go hand-in-hand in creating new spaces around the home or the workplace.
Interior film is one of the most significant examples of beautiful and inspiring designs made mainstream through cost-effectiveness. Marble or real wood floors are often quoted as elements of a luxury interior. Unachievable on a tight budget, they become part of a new reality with architectural interior film, which can reproduce most patterns naturally and convincingly without the price tag. Quick to order and easy to install, such tech innovations open up the design options.
Interior Design in a Click
The approach to interior design and decoration has gained a lot from the constant inclusion of technology. Brands such as IKEA have used tech tools to help customers design their dream homes for years. Augmented reality enables individuals to seamlessly bring a new item of furniture or decor into their home at the click of a button. You can visualise and personalise your new interior style without actually needing to invest in new items. By streamlining the access to product images, customer-facing interior manufacturers utilise everyday digital technology as a style creator. The process empowers the customers.
A simple click is also all it takes for tech-oriented customers to bring new and unique interior design products. 3D printing technology has entered the residential and business world. Small interior design companies can produce unique patterns at a low cost. At home, the most tech-agile customers can also create unique pieces to transform their interiors.
Technology creates green
Going back to the smart home solution, a home that can monitor its internal processes becomes able to supervise its energy consumption. Smart homes produce significantly less carbon emissions and energy wastes. However, the appeal of a green home drives new interior design initiatives, focusing on natural and sustainable materials. Technology makes energy efficiency possible, but it is entirely supported by the desire to shape interior design around environmental interests. Energy ratings, recyclable, and carbon-neutral home solutions account for a new smart nature edge. Additionally, the architectural structure also changes to accommodate the natural flow of light, air, material and water throughout the property, thus reducing energy-costing frictions and waste.
Exploring futuristic sight with shapes and light
A final observation about the role of technology in interior design needs to place technology as a source of inspiration rather than a medium to fulfil a purpose. Futuristic decors are not a novelty. But they’ve been prominently reserved to film sets. Yet, tech advancements help to transform the papier maché film set into a real and functional interior design. Modern cellular shapes, as popularised by architecture enthusiast Andrii Chudinov, make the argument for an asymmetrical interior that elevates technology as an aesthetic end. The result is a happy mixture of natural features, such as natural light, with sleek finishing and modern solutions.
Technology and interior design work as a pair, enabling, inspiring, influencing, and reacting with each other. Our homes reflect our relationship to technology as a society.