Digital Design: How Modern Software Has Changed Space Planning

Digital technologies have become an intrinsic part of our lives; they have even significantly influenced the way we plan and design our living spaces.

Dull routine work of experts drawing detailed blueprints and conducting extensive calculations is, luckily, in the past. Today’s architects and designers are equipped with tools their grandfathers could not even dream of, and we should get ready for even more changes waiting ahead.

To get a clearer picture of how space planning has changed, you can think of the following methods brought about by digital technologies.

  • 3D CAD. From its very beginning, computer-assisted design (CAD) has saved architects and designers from tedious routines in creating object drafts. 2D CAD is widely used today for creating various blueprints and technical drawings. A more recent invention, 3D CAD, has a wider range of functions, including representation of the object’s texture, rotations of the objects, etc. CAD tools are mostly used by professional designers, but there is also software aimed at people without any background knowledge. One of the most popular non-professional tools, Software Planner 5D, enables anyone to visualize their living space planning ideas. The tool provides a wide range of functions to create almost anything from basic floor layouts to detailed interior design.
  • 3D printing technology is used for creating physical models of designed objects. When used in addition to 3D CAD software, it widens the possibilities for a visual representation of a designed object. The application of 3D printing in architectural design opens up a new and effective way of creating tangible physical models of complicated architectural structures. These models are not only cost-effective, but are also easy to adjust and re-make.
  • Augmented reality. The technologies for adding virtual objects to real backgrounds proved useful in living space planning. In particular, AR is utilized in customer-oriented mobile applications. AR can help you make decisions for interior design because you can instantly see how a piece of furniture will look in your living space. In public spaces AR can be used as a part of design in itself. For instance, in museums or art galleries adding virtual explanations to the objects of an exhibition can save space, and in amusement parks incorporating virtual objects can add to the variety of visitor’s experience.
  • BIM. Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is a technique used to organize and simplify the process of planning, the construction, and maintaining an architectural object. BIM software operates with files that contain information about different aspects of a project, from technical drawings to data on estimated construction costs or state of infrastructure in the nearby area. BIM can be implemented throughout all of the stages of the working process, so it significantly simplifies the communication between designers and all of the other elements of a team.
  • AI design. Although robots are not going to replace human designers in the visible future, using AI-powered tools is already a part of the routine in architecture and living space design. Algorithm-driven design is based on the reapplication of pre-existing patterns. It has limited creative potential, but nevertheless AI-assisted solutions can be implemented at various stages of the working process, from creating a floor plan to choosing curtains color, and they allow designers to save time and optimize the working process. One of the newly emerging methods here is so-called generative design (GD), in which a designer provides AI with basic parameters and a general idea about an object in order to receive detailed solutions for its embodiment.

For you to understand the ways in which the design and planning industry is going to change over time, it’s essential to keep up with recent news. It will be helpful to regularly check out the latest news and expert opinions on new technologies. But new tools and means for improving work efficiency aren’t the only changes brought about by technology. Trends and priorities in designing living spaces are also changing in accordance with the technical progress. To understand the priorities essential for today, one can think of the following.

  • Multifunctionality of space. With the growing popularity of the work-from-home lifestyle, designing one place to be optimized for only one specific purpose will soon become anachronistic. As for living spaces, using the kitchen as a personal office or exercising in the living room is no longer surprising. This tendency to do various activities in one space is here to stay. It increases value for planning solutions that allow maximum flexibility and yet stay aesthetically pleasant.
  • IoT. The so-called ‘smart home’ model, a living space integrated into the Internet of Things, has constantly been evolving during the last decade. Seeing our houses as networks of smart devices will require corresponding planning and interior solutions. For example, it will be less important to determine where light switches are placed, while, conversely, there will be an increased need for socket outlets. There should also be careful consideration in choosing the design of the housing appliances.
  • Sustainable houses. The idea of a house as an eco-friendly living space, designed to be as safe, cost-effective, and energy-saving as possible, is still novel. However, given the increase in awareness of ecological problems, it can’t be ignored. Sustainable house planning will require more creative solutions than ever for implementing technological advances such as alternative energy systems while preserving an aesthetically attractive design.
  • Green spaces. With the relentless increase in urbanization and population density, incorporating green spaces into living areas becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. One of the most efficient strategies here is to add green facades and rooftops to building plans. Internal gardens in public buildings can serve as rest areas, and in private living spaces they not only add to recreation but also create the possibility of small-scale gardening.

These are only a few examples of changes in the space planning industry. However, they can serve as a great inspiration and encourage anyone to look forward to innovations that are yet to come.