computational design

The Craft of Design Work

NEWS - JUNE 2021

The Craft of Design Work

How will computational design impact the design-build community?

By Douglas Weinstein

Party in the Kitchen

THE COMPUTATIONAL SHIFT. Get used to that designation – design is evolving. Whereas classical design was based on features and quality, driven by evolutionary growth, design thinking is now being driven by computational design based on massive data, artificial intelligence and “visioning” tools for personalized products.

The increase in computing power, algorithms and increased inter-departmental communication has led us to a new era in computational design where specifiers are using computers which are now able to generate insights and make decisions using massive data sets, which will fundamentally change the designer’s role in the creative process.


While the above scenario is mostly limited to consumer products per se, it is not hard to imagine the residential design-build arena succumbing to these notions. After all, the first 3D printed residential neighborhood is becoming a reality and who is to say what role architects will play if a computer algorithm can generate the necessary documents based on an automated client discovery process?

As more and more conglomerates design and market smart home devices, the more homogenized the performance home space will become. With the advent of home robotics, the pace and acceleration of residential technology will surely escalate, and designers, architects and consulting engineers who anticipate these changes will have a serious competitive advantage in the marketplace.


For now, home building remains a labor-intensive discipline while architecture and interior design remain highly subjective pursuits, based on emotional and physiological aesthetics. Will high-powered tools driven by data and technology take the “craft” out of design work? And how will technology alter the siloed nature of residential design-build? What will it look like as concept, design, engineering, and build teams collaborate simultaneously and remotely? Will AI displace design jobs or will it be a force multiplier for creativity?

These are questions TD will be focused on as new technologies emerge and alter the landscape of the performance home. How the future of design and collaboration affects business models and how companies remain relevant and competitive will need watching as the technological revolution carries on. Because we believe in the design-build construct and see purpose behind teams who work together with the same mindset, whether that revolves around sustainability and resiliency, or general wellness and healthy interiors. And since technology continues to impact design, we’ll stay focused on sharing with you and educating you about the many wonderful products and services that enhance design and enhance living.

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