Just a few months ago, money was flying everywhere in the interior design space. Technology was promising to give everyone a perfectly instagrammable home – you can design it, see it, and buy it in just a few clicks. Livspace in India gives a menu of room styles that they make happen in reality for you, and has investment from IKEA. Modsy designers in the US quickly mock up a room that links to every product in striking VR so you can plug in the items to your space without needing any imagination, but they seem to be reaching the limits of their streamlined model. Houzz seems to always be seeking that perfect link of visualisation to product purchase, the latest iteration being producing their own line of furniture, which has now been abandoned.
My background is in music, and I feel like interior design is going through a similar experimentation to composition when synthesisers and composition software arrived on the scene. Computers can write music! Just as well as humans!
And yes – computers can write music. AI can create a room based on a set of rules that looks roughly like a professionally designed room. But in neither case will you end up with something that resonates with the truly human part of us, something memorable and special. And isn’t the whole point of spending time and money re-designing your home so that you have something that is special? Something uniquely for you, your family, your life?
Technology is supposed to make life easier, to make things more accessible to more people – and it absolutely should do the same for home improvement. Make it easier for people to create a space that they love. But the line, for me, is somewhere before the technology is doing the actual design.
That’s the motivation behind Barxonomy – provide the tools and the education to help people along the journey to creating their ideal home. Make it easier, faster, less stressful, more empowering. But still let a human come up with the creative magic to make it truly personal and worth celebrating.
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