A Whole New World


Whilst new technologies and mediums, such as social media, tentatively cultivate the garden of the home design industry some are undertaking a complete redesign, L-J Andrew assesses the wider impact of AI across the industry and what the long-term implications might be

Whether you’re a fan or a nay-sayer, AI has systematically managed to infiltrate every industry sector imaginable. Once celebrated as the future, this stealth medium is now being seen in a more sceptical light, with schools worried about students use of it, television writers striking across the US to demand mitigation of its use and even one of the Co-Creators stepping away from the project for fear of it becoming too powerful.

Whether it’s progress strides in support of humanity in a digital world or a Sci-Fi horror in the making – which if properly used and controlled is an outcome that only exists in the nightmares of extreme thinking - , AI shows no signs of abating, and it has certainly made its presence felt across the home design industry; a dextrous tool for every facet from architecture to interior styling concepts to construction.

Perhaps one of the biggest impacts of its application, is its ability to predict the future - forecasting trends based on an analysis of historical consumer preferences, purchase behaviour and posts on social media and the wider internet. A way of staying ahead of the curve.

Further to that, AI has an influential role to play in each stage of a design project, starting in the Pre-Design phase. Normally, architects and designers spend weeks, months or even years planning a project before any construction begins; cue a series of client meetings where the design goes through one revision after another until it’s finalised.

AI can reduce this timescale to mere hours or even minutes. The ability to plug into a huge, constantly updated database of designs and codes, enables multiple design variations to be edited in real-time. Modelling software has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years, letting designers play with curved shapes and forms at the click of a mouse, taking the guesswork, calculations and trial-and-error out of the planning process, enabling the experimentation and creation of more fantastical designs.

Another way AI is being utilised in the architectural and interior design world is through its ability to generate personalised recommendations. Designers can now enter any preferences and mock-ups into bespoke programmes and receive recommendations for furniture, colour schemes and other ancillary design components.

When it comes to spacial planning, the latest tools allow designers to optimise available square footage and create more efficient layouts. In this regard, AI-powered software can analyse data based on the dimensions and shape of a space, the placement of windows and doors, as well as the inhabitants’ requirements and preferences. The latest technologies can even create more energy-efficient spaces by optimising lighting, heating and cooling systems.

The final interesting implementation of artificial intelligence is the role it has to play in the visualisation arena in relation to enhanced mock-ups, AR (Augmented Reality), and VR (Virtual Reality). This means we can now create virtual and augmented reality experiences that allow clients to visualise their space before any physical work is done. AI powered tools can create photorealistic 3D models of interior spaces that can be explored in virtual or augmented reality.


When it comes to the practical side of home construction, you may not think that digital technology has a role to play. Not so – industry dialogue is already underway about the potential for 3D printers to build houses and robots and droids being designed to perform dangerous or repetitive construction tasks on-site. Worth mentioning is the work of ICON, who built the first permitted 3D-printed home in the States. The company is already feted as being at the leading edge of technology through its pioneering global applications. So, watch this space.

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