Digital disruption is happening constantly in every industry, however, disruption doesn't necessarily imply something negative - it just means that the way the industry operates is changing and those who embrace the disruption may develop new and innovative business models / concepts that benefit their businesses and help them grow.
Digital Disruption and the Interior Design Industry
The design industry seems to have changed significantly due to technological changes in the last 5-10 years. From the impact of social media, to new business models offering interior design in a different way (online consultations and even full digital room design), it's not hard to notice how digital disruption is affecting the industry.
In my experience, most of these changes have been positive and exciting - being able to communicate with clients digitally saves significant hours of commuting time, services like 3D rendering are now available on a freelance basis and affordably, there's new and improved CAD software, 3D modelling programs, and even an app that can measure up a property using the camera on a phone - technology is enhancing the design process.
Why There's no such Thing as a 'Trade Secret' Anymore
Traditionally, a key quality in a good designer was not just their creative ability, but their 'black book' of trade secrets and industry contacts that only they had access to.
However, in a digital world where anyone can go on Pinterest and find images of what they like and copy what they see, get a room designed online for as little as £100, google price-check any product specified by the designer - 'trade secrets' are hardly secrets anymore.
Any change that makes the industry more transparent can only be a good thing, but today's designers must adapt our way of thinking - if our black books are full of contacts everyone knows, what value do we add?
What Does Digital Disruption Mean for Designers Today? What no one seems to have enough of in our busy digital era is time - time spent sourcing the right products at the right price and time not wasted making simple mistakes that experience might have mitigated. The professional advice and ability to call on our network to implement the design efficiently are still the key assets of a designer.
Embrace the Change
A key change for me is the way a previously secretive and oftentimes exclusive industry is finding itself having to become more open and collaborative - sharing ideas and knowledge is more commonplace than ever before, and collaboration between designers, architects, stylists and photographers is enhancing the output of design as people strive to produce something 'better' than their competitors in order to be noticed and to stay relevant. It's an exciting time to be a designer! :)