Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

A new artificial intelligence program that can design a house in seconds shows how technology is transforming the way we envision and create our living spaces.

Icon, known for its 3D-printed housing, is venturing further into automation with the launch of Vitruvius, an AI system designed to empower consumers in the home design process. Currently, in open beta, the program promises to streamline the creation of customized floor plans for interior and exterior renders, eventually progressing to complete construction blueprints and schedules.

“In the future, I believe nearly all construction will be done by robots, and nearly all construction-related information will be processed and managed by AI systems,” Icon CEO Jason Ballard said in a news release. “Vitruvius will become the default method for Icon in designing custom homes. We intend to be selling and building Vitruvius-designed homes beginning this year.”

Design Your Own House

The Vitruvius experience is meant to give users design control. Homeowners collaborate with the AI, providing basic ideas, preferences and budgets. The AI then delves deeper, generating unique designs tailored to the user’s vision. Vitruvius blends design expertise with Icon’s construction knowledge, ensuring the feasibility of its creations.

“What truly makes Vitruvius unique is the combination of design and construction know-how,” Ballard said in the release. “That knowledge is what allows Vitruvius to produce designs that can actually be built.”

Icon’s latest AI home design tool is among the numerous options available in the sector. Need help with furniture or decor? AI-powered interior design tools like Modsy and DecorMatters analyze your room’s dimensions, furnishings and personal style. They then offer tailored recommendations for furniture, lighting and color schemes. Upload photos of your space or inspirational images to see how different design concepts could transform your room.

“AI-powered tools can generate detailed visualizations in seconds, creating several varieties of designs from which to get inspiration and ideas,” Alexandra Cooper, an interior designer at Planner 5D, told PYMNTS in an interview. “This allows designers and homeowners to visualize spaces and their possible variations in a reduced time frame that will help in decision-making before implementation.”

Cooper said AI aids in space optimization and can be a helpful virtual assistant. These tools can provide immediate personalized recommendations based on individual preferences and trends, helping to make informed design decisions.

“Moreover, AI tools help designers analyze vast amounts of data quickly, help with space optimization, and help with cost estimates,” Cooper added.” Tasks that take hours now can be tackled in just a few minutes with AI’s aid. All in all, AI is quickly becoming every designer’s right-hand man (or bot?).”

Colleen O’Toole, art director at Hover, a construction and renovation software company, explained to PYMNTS in an interview that AI enhances construction and renovation by easing the process, fostering trust between designers and homeowners, and providing clear expectations for project scope and cost estimates.

“AI can also answer those classic questions that plague both homeowners and professionals, like: What will this actually look like?” she said. “How much will it cost? How long will it take? And how do I even find the team I need to bring this to life?”

AI programs are also useful for giving renovation options, Heidi Sheridan, owner of Walker Lane Interiors, said in an interview with PYMNTS.

“Having it give examples of styles in your space and narrow down your style is a great way to figure out what you like or don’t like,” she said. “Or, in my case, what a client likes or doesn’t like.”

Planner 5D incorporates AI technologies to provide users with more engaging and streamlined design choices. The company claims its AI algorithms generate realistic walkthroughs, allowing homeowners to virtually inhabit their redesigned spaces before making decisions. The software has a virtual assistant named Bernard, which uses AI to provide customized design suggestions based on individual styles, budgets and existing décor.

Planner 5D also offers an upload a plan feature where AI analyzes 2D blueprints and builds a corresponding 3D model. This functionality promises to save designers time by providing a base for visualizing the project.

Optimizing Efficiency and Sustainability

AI’s impact extends beyond aesthetics. Algorithms can generate home layouts that optimize energy use and natural light by analyzing factors like sun exposure, local climate and desired energy efficiency ratings. For construction teams, AI-powered project management tools can streamline scheduling, predict potential delays, and suggest cost-saving alternatives to materials.

Cooper said AI is just starting to change the landscape of home design. She predicted that AI algorithms will soon become better at understanding individual preferences and lifestyles, leading to tailored design solutions, from furniture layouts to style preferences.

“Integration with robotics in the future will enable the automation of certain construction and installation tasks, which will accelerate the home design process and reduce labor costs,” Cooper said.

While experts caution that AI assistants have limitations, the technology could disrupt the traditional interior design industry as consumers may opt for affordable AI-based consultations. But Sheridan said she doesn’t think AI will supplant humans’ creativity.

“It will help streamline the design process, giving clients and users an elevated customizable experience,” she said. “However, it can never replace creative opinions, which is the reason one uses a designer.”

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