Tag Archives: Technology

5 Product Highlights From EuroCucina 2018

Technology and flexibility were the buzzwords at EuroCucina’s biennial exhibition dedicated to kitchens. Including the category FTK–Technology For the Kitchen, the 22nd edition showcased products from over 100 companies—several drawing hungry crowds with live cooking demonstrations. From voice-activated water to a highly compact system to a kitchen island that solves an age-old problem, here are five of our favorite finds.

1. Ratio Kitchen by Vincent Van Duysen for Dada

Ratio kitchen by Vincent Van Dusyen for Dada. Photography courtesy of Molteni & C.


Snacking at a kitchen island often means banging your knees. The multitasking Ratio kitchen island by Vincent Van Dusyen for Molteni & C brand Dada keeps practicality in mind, with a handy built-in table for bruise-free dining.

2. AM 01 Kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Sanwa Company

AM 01 kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Sanwa Company. Photography courtesy of Sanwa Company.

Small in size but big on design, the AM 01 Kitchen by Atelier Mendini for Japanese manufacturer Sanwa Company is a compact yet stylish solution to a dwelling short on space.

3. Connected Kitchen by Sieger Design for Dornbracht

Connected kitchen by Sieger Design for Dornbracht. Photography by Thomas Popinger/courtesy of Dornbracht.


With voice- or foot-activation, water is conveniently hands-free in Sieger Design’s Connected kitchen for Dornbract. The system also meets that chef challenge of precise volume and temperature with a digital tool.

4. K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen

K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen. Photography courtesy of Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen.


With the height-adjustable K7 Kitchen Island by Kai Stania for Team 7 Natürlich Wohnen, even Goldilocks is happy, thanks to a unique lift mechanism that raises the island from 29 inches to 45 inches, so it can then be used as table, bar, or work surface.

5. SEI Kitchen by Marc Sadler for Euromobil

SEI kitchen by Marc Sadler for Euromobil. Photography courtesy of Euromobil.

“The surfaces are as thin as your phone,” says designer Marc Sadlerof Euromobil’s SEI kitchen, which is light in weight with tops, side panels, and accessories less than 1/3 of an inch thick.

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Multigenerational teams: Creating ageless collaboration

No matter what your age or generation you identify with, if you work in a creative field like design or architecture, you are part of a team. It doesn’t matter if all your team members are working under one roof or if they belong to different companies or disciplines. Design is a team sport.

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ASID 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry Report

The American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry (OSI) report provides a scan of the essential knowledge interior designers and the interior design industry require to thrive and remain competitive in 2018 and beyond. The 80-page ASID OSI explores the status of the U.S. economy as a whole and offers an in-depth look at the interior design and construction industries specifically; discusses current trends in design and their implications for the profession moving forward; and concludes with a look at the societal and technological advancements that will influence the interior design industry into the future.

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8 Ways Technology Is Disrupting the Design Industry

Disruptive innovation comes in every dimension–3-D printing is just the start. 

1. RISE Pavilion by DeFacto

5,000 biodegradable polymer blocks make up RISE Pavilion by DeFacto. Photography by Hanep Studio.

A wunderkind of 3-D printing, Leandro Rolon led his firm, DeFacto, in a successful attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the largest 3-D printed structure. His 13-by-36-foot RISE Pavilion—a collaboration with RISE, a Beijing institution that teaches English to children—was composed of almost 5,000 biodegradable polymer blocks. After it was dis-assembled, each student received a block to further explore its upcycling potential. Suggested uses: planter or lampshade.

2. Casa d’Espanya by Gould Turner Group

Casa d’Espanya, an installation by Gould Turner Group. Photography courtesy of Gould Turner Group.

A trip to Spain’s Alhambra inspired Casa d’Espanya, an installation by Gould Turner Group that debuted at Nashville’s Cheekwood botanical garden as part of its “International Playhouse” exhibition last spring. Moorish-inflected motifs appeared in porcelain mosaic on the outer structure. Inside it stood a 3-D printed open-cell thermoplastic sculpture—which is now making a second appearance at suburban Franklin’s O’More College of Design. Qué bueno.

3. “3-D Printing: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” at National Centre for Craft & Design

Lynne MacLachlan’s Gego bangles appear in “3-D Printing” The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” exhibition. Photography courtesy of Lynne MacLachlan.

Complex questions are often raised by new technologies, and 3-D printing is no different, with concerns ranging from authorship to environmental impact. “3-D Printing: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful,” at the National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford, U.K., through April 23, explores these issues through dozens of objects, from wall tile to jewelry. Lynne MacLachlan’s nylon Gego bangles, for example, appear in the “beautiful” category.

4. Lace LED by Margot Krasojevic

Lace LED by Margot Krasojevic is made of polymers from food containers and offcuts from 3-D printers. Photography courtesy of Margot Krasojevic Architects.

Working on such conceptual projects as a hydroelectric-powered floating prison, Margot Krasojevic is clearly committed to sustainability. A recent recycling effort is more real-world. Polymers from food containers and offcuts from 3-D printers became the raw materials for another round of 3-D printing, which yielded a lacy form interwoven with optical fibers. The resulting Lace LED pendant fixture, printed at different scales, will be available on the Margot Krasojevic Architects website in May.

5. Parque de Castilla–La Mancha: Bridge by Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Designers from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia 3-D printed a pedestrian bridge in micro-reinforced concrete. Photography courtesy of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

No, you’re not seeing things. That really and truly is a 3-D printed pedestrian bridge. Spanning a pond at Madrid’s Parque de Castilla–La Mancha, the 39-foot-long structure is micro-reinforced concrete. The designers hail not from the capital but from Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

6. DuoSkin by Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao

A DuoSkin flame changes colors in response to certain emotions. Photography by Jimmy Day.
Silvery squares serve as a mouse pad. Photography by Jimmy Day.

Want your tattoo to do more than just look cool? Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao is on it. With the MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research, the PhD candidate has developed DuoSkin, functional interfaces that adhere to human skin. A flame changes colors in response to certain emotions, or silvery squares serve as a mouse pad.

7. Love Turntable by Fuseproject

Fuseproject used money from a Kickstarter campaign to produce the Love Turntable. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.
A linear tracking system spins on top of a vinyl record set on a stationary base. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.
Music is streamed via Bluetooth and WiFi to speakers or headphones. Photography courtesy of Fuseproject.

Old-school meets new with Fuseproject’s Love Turntable. Inspired by the sculptural forms of musical instruments, a component with a linear tracking system spins on top of a vinyl record set on a stationary base, and the music is then streamed via Bluetooth and WiFi to speakers or headphones. A Kickstarter campaign raised more than $850,000 to produce the smartphone-controlled device, slated to be released this year.

8. “Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine” at the Vitra Design Museum

Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Photography by Thomas Dix/Vitra Design Museum.
Vitra Design Museum interior. Photography by Mark Niedermann.
Yumi, a human-size robot by ABB. Photography courtesy of ABB.
3-D printed cocktail dress with sensors that respond to outside stimuli by Anouk Wipprecht. Photography by Jason Perry/Anouk Wipprecht.

It’s a party. And it’s taking place at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, through May 14. Luckily, the guests don’t need to sleep. “Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine” is a gathering where Anouk Wipprecht’s 3-D printed cocktail dress, with its sensors and movable arms that respond to outside stimuli, might engage in a stimulating conceptual conversation with ABB’s human-size robot, Yumi.

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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.


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How smart is your sofa?

The way technology is impacting the furniture industry and the manner in which we buy furniture

Until even a decade ago, no one thought AR-VR (augmented reality-virtual reality) would change the way the furniture business operated or the way we’d shop for a sofa.

“When our parents bought a bed that turned out to be too big for the room, they would probably arrange their lives around it,” says Ramakant Sharma, head of technology and operations and co-founder of Livspace, which offers end-to-end home interiors solutions. Livspace launched, what they claim is, the world’s first design automation platform, called Canvas. It allows home owners to design, decorate and furnish their homes virtually. “Today, consumers want to have good-looking homes. At the same time, there is a massive information asymmetry: if they are buying a piece of furniture at a particular price, they have no way of validating the price,” says Sharma.



Livspace solves this and other issues by allowing customers, who are assigned to a designer, to convey their ideas and have the designer realise their vision for them. The designer then uses the inbuilt software to take into account the right measurements of the space and choose items from the catalogue to design the home. This is done first in 2D, then in 3D, which is accessible on their website. Customers can walk into a virtual reality vision of their home (currently available at the Livspace centres in select cities including Bengaluru). Any changes can be incorporated.

The minute the customer places or changes an order, it goes all the way up to the factory and the warehouse. The time taken for delivery is a reflection of the product that takes the longest time to manufacture in the cart.

“The price point is a simple arithmetic summation of all the items used in the design. Technology is the key in the design tool. It plays three roles here, in customer relationship management, visualisation (which includes virtual reality and order tracking) and supply chain management. This way, the information asymmetry is also decreasing with time, as the customer knows why each item costs as much as it does,” says Sharma.

Urban Ladder is yet another tech-based furniture retailer which is taking on the challenge of integrating technology across four aspects: of customer experience, supply chain systems, visualisation through AR and VR and retail systems.

Look and feel

Urban Ladder began with their e-tail platform and application, and evolved to include AR. “We first built an app calling Living Spaces, which enabled customers to visualise sofas in their homes through AR. It allowed customers to understand how the sofa fits into the house and how it looks in their space, but not what it feels like. Obviously, tech has not solved the third question yet,” says Rajiv Srivatsa, co-founder.

The technology also allowed customers to change settings according to their preferences, with a 90% accuracy through AR. “Then in 2015, we expanded the technology to allow customers to see how wardrobes fit into their houses. And we have now taken the next big step, six months ago, by building a VR application in our physical stores that allows customers to experience, virtually, how a product would look in their home by simulating the space in the technology,” he says.

 Since VR is expected to take a few more years to become mainstream. Urban Ladder is hosting the device in their physical stores and the sofa is the first product they want to perfect. “But in the next few years, AR is going to become part of mobile phone technology, like it already is in the latest iPhone and Google Pixel variants. These phones can deduce the dimensions of physical places, so people can get a sense of how products fit into their homes, through their phones and through our app, which will be customised to AR,” says Srivatsa.

At the same time, they also plan to continue investing in applications that will optimise the supply chain and delivery side of things as well as data access for consultants. “This is hard to build because the entire ecosystem has to be aligned and built at one go. This means that there must not be loss of information between the designer and the consumer and the manufacturer,” says Sharma.

That’s why Livspace used a cloud-based system to align the ecosystem, cutting delivery time of the final product to just weeks. The technology is likely to be refined and deepened in the future, as design education seeks to impart more holistic insights into furniture design. Which is why it’s important to get design students on board with the idea.

Customers still like to touch and feel the furniture they are buying. “One of the projects that I ran in Srishti, which addressed the concept of online brands seeking to expand offline in order to offer a tactical experience, resulted in a unique idea. The student who came up with it suggested that brands could, instead of building a showroom, hire a few hotel suites curated by the brands, in order to offer the consumer a real-time experience,” explains Janak Mistry, design principal at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

 Because furniture is a high-cost venture, for both buyer and seller, the solution is to get everything right the first time. This is where technology helps, in ensuring the system is well connected, right from the visualisation to the supply-chain.

Technology in sustainable architecture

Architect Sampath Reddy, founder of Pop-Up Housing, and Program Manager, Built Environment at Selco Foundation, is currently working on micro-rack supported building using heavy-duty slotted angle frames and palette racks. Inspired by storage solutions in industrial warehouses, buildings as high as 20 floors can be built with this technology. Slotted angle frames can also be used to make everything fro mezzanine floors, modular units, furniture, and bunk beds.

These can then be combined with other materials such as wood or bamboo for the interiors. Sampath says he uses Google Maps extensively to look for underutilized spaces in the city where these housing solutions can be applied.

Sampath, who also works as a Program Manager, Built Environment at Selco Foundation, He is now working on using these new-age building materials for low-cost, sustainable construction, He is targeting the slums -dwelling communities and as well schools and health centres in rural areas, including medical centres, which and medical centres who need portable housing. Furniture is integrated into the construction.

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