Technology and interior design

In 1979, when I first began my study of architecture, construction, and interior design I used vellum, a T-square, lead holders (drafting pencils) and lead pointers (sharpeners), a drafting brush, radiograph technical pen set, drafting table, compass sets and dividers, triangles, and drafting tape, to name a few! I have always loved drawing and I still have all the tools from yester-year and keep them close at hand. In the past 15 years, technology has influenced many design fields. Interior design is certainly in that category. Some changes in my industry of interior design are the use of AutoCAD, SketchUp, Revit, 3D StudioMax, and the list goes on. The influence of computer technology on the interior design field for over a decade has been prodigious. Technology has opened up the process of how we design, adding tremendous range, speed, and quality to our design and renderings that we present to our clients.


I see a completed interior design in my head, which includes finishes, furnishings, window coverings, and art… everything to complete the vision. I truly believe that this is a God-given gift! However, most clients cannot envision a completed space; therefore, having the tools and ability to share the vision in a perceptible way is incredibly valuable.

The changes in technology have radically changed since I began my career. In just a few hours designers can render an interior space with the exact furnishings, finishes, and art, so that in many cases it is hard to decipher whether you are looking at a photograph or a rendering. This capability gives our clients a realistic vision of their projects before they are completed. This can take the uncertainty and nervousness out of the process and put a client as true ease.


The first step we take is to assess the client’s needs. Creativity, inspiration and sketching lead to the concept. From there, we create the floor plan and the process of building the three-dimensional space where we show the materials (finishes) contrast, light, and also define the furniture. This visual is also a valuable tool for us as designers because it allows us to easily analyze other possibilities quickly.

The presentation to the client will include a concept statement, diagrams, floor plans, sections, and elevations to visually express the design. All of these components help to convey the vision. We also complete a lighting plan and a furniture plan as well as the 3D rendering.

Interior design is three-dimensional. A space consists of walls, a ceiling, floors and all of the art and furnishings in between. We have to consider light, both natural and artificial, as well as shadows. The new and ever-advancing technology allows us to truly educate our clients and provide a level of design quickly and comprehensively. The education and training I have received and continue to receive is invaluable to communicate my creativity and vision for a completed space that will offer many years of true enjoyment for my clients!


Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe native and principal of Samuel Design Group, located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. She is an award-winning interior designer known for creating unique interiors imbued with warmth and elegance. Lisa ( is passionate about good design that supports well-being.

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