How to Talk to an Architect About Getting Smart Tech

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By Dan Maginn / Published by Dwell
We asked the principal of DRAW in Kansas City.

The first phase of the architectural process—before plans are drawn or grades are shot—is programming. This is the stage where architects take time to listen to their clients’ needs and translate them into a design. Say they have a thing for flame-grilled pork chops, but they don’t want to venture outside to make it happen. The architect might jot down that they need a cooktop with a char-broiler and a professional-grade vent hood.

Smart tech is a new tool for helping residents fine-tune their vision. Case in point: A recent client—a young family—had some specific needs that led to clever, tech-forward solutions. Their baby boy has a habit of starting the day grouchy, so to ease the transition to daytime, a system was installed in his room that allows the roller blinds to automatically rise 10 minutes before wake time. The couple wanted flexible lighting, so many of their switches have voice control. They desired a security system that was easy to use, so they bypassed the national companies in favor of a DIY setup—a network of battery-powered, WiFi-connected cameras and sensors, controlled from their phones. 

Not long ago, these systems would have cost a fortune. Now, with new products geared specifically for consumers, smart-tech makers are getting with the program.  

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