A few weeks ago, we let the cat out of the bag and introduced the upcoming premiere issue of Technology Designer magazine, with the first issue slated for January 2019’s CES show in Las Vegas. I wanted to talk about our mission in a little more detail, so those in our industry interested in participating know what we have planned and exactly who our audience will be. And equally important, why this magazine, and why now.
Let’s start with the state of the CI channel going back just a few years. The very best, the very elite dealers in our space have and continue to partner with the design build community. You look at Joe Barrett at Chicagoland’s Barrett’s Technology and you get a glimpse how networking and partnering with others in the design build world is a huge advantage for any integration firm. Joe is a part of the NextHaus Alliance, which consists of various design build firms creating sustainable homes.
However, Joe is an exception to the rule, if you look at the big picture. There are just as many, if not more, interior designers who specify equipment and products on their own without relying on an integration firm – in many cases the homeowner simply buys the gear and hires ‘Wally the alarm guy’ to install the products. In that scenario, no one is really explaining the technology design possibilities that could exponentially enhance and accelerate performance and the overall enjoyment of the connected home. Ultimately, the homeowner’s vision as it relates to smart living, is never fully realized.
Fast forward to just a year ago. We began hearing from our design build colleagues that there was a thirst for knowledge related to new and evolving technology. We came to realize that the design build community had finally come to the reality that technology touches EVERYTHING on today’s modern estate. And that they needed to not only have a basic understanding of the technology but had come around to the idea that the technology designer was in fact an integral part of the initial client consultations. The what if meeting, the Blue Sky discussion.
We did a search for ‘custom installers’ within a 25 mile radius of our home in Boulder, Colorado. Guess how many there were? 8,431! That’s right. You see, ‘Wally the alarm guy’ is considered a custom installer. That term, as well as custom integrator, really have no resonance in the marketplace. Go ask a neighbor who their custom integrator is and they’ll probably say the Geek Squad. So we began referring to those integration firms who design whole-home energy management systems, IT networks, AV distribution systems, and the like, as Technology Designers.
Which brings us to Technology Designer magazine. Readers will be hearing from architects, developers, builders, interior designers, kitchen and bath designers, landscape designers, lighting designers . . . as well as our industry’s best and brightest technology designers. We’ll explore that intersection where technology meets design and how collaboration impacts the fulfillment of the client’s expectations.
We believe in the narrative nature of storytelling. Conversational and easy to follow. We won’t be deep diving into any particular technology; there are other resources on the net if you want to learn about HDBaseT or AVoverIP. We also won’t be doing traditional product reviews, we’ll leave that to others. We won’t be regurgitating press releases, we’ll leave that others. And, we will try our best to never use an acronym (4K, HDMI, FLAC, etc.) or the words ‘beryllium tweeter’ in any of our storytelling.
What we will talk about is how beautiful and artful the products the industry offers the homeowner are, and how they grace any luxury residence. And any luxury lifestyle. From wonderful, luxurious sound, to advances in lighting technology, to big screen TVs that melt into the background when turned off, to energy management and wireless roaming technology . . . our goal is to explain and report on that grand bargain, that brand promise technology has always been about – technology that works, without the homeowner every realizing it’s there in the first place!
Naturally, as we have designed our magazine and website to be a resource for the design build community, we’ll be talking about solutions. How design build teams come together to overcome obstacles on the road to perfection.
We are currently discussing interesting case stories with many of our friends in the design build world and welcome case study submissions from design build professionals and vendors alike. Anyone may participate – whether it’s one room or an entire home. An MDU or the back yard. You can reach out to our executive editor, Doug Weinstein at doug@TechnologyDesigner.com. For advertising and promotional opportunities, ping me at carol@TechnologyDesigner.com or our partner Eric Schwartz at eric@TechnologyDesigner.com
Thanks for letting us illustrate and expand on our mission. The magazine and website debut this winter with some exciting articles that include a tour of an amazing experience center, lighting design from one of the world’s foremast experts, several amazing homes we tour, a major MDU complex, and much, much more. With multiple voices and varying viewpoints, we reach out to and welcome the design build community in discussions on how they come together to create the magic that technology has always promised. Technology Designer Magazine. Where technology meets design.