Technology Matters: Future of Design

Technology Matters: Future of Design

From augmented reality and cloud-based software to smart textiles and bio fashion, experts working at the intersection of design and technology discuss the trends of tomorrow.

Design has never been more important, shaping the built environment, the digital world and the products and services we use every day.

Companies are fast realising that good design is a competitive advantage and new technology is rapidly changing the way designers work, collaborate and innovate.

For Michael Stoddart, director of Digital Media Enterprise at Adobe, the future is always the inspiration.

“As designers we spend a lot of time thinking about the future and the role of design in that,” he says.

Augmented reality is one example that Adobe is rapidly bringing into their design toolkit, with new AR authoring and publishing tool, Aero, allowing designers to work on a whole new plane.

Stoddart says voice and audio, a critical part of the AR interface, is an exciting avenue for design innovation and one he sees becoming as ubiquitous as touch technology is now.

“Every designer creates user experiences and voice is absolutely the next interface we need to design to.”

“Designers always operate in a collaborative way and knowing what the limits of design are and when to seek input from experts in other fields is what makes for really good design innovation.”

RMIT's Brunswick campus and home of fashion and textiles.

Dr Kate Sala is an Associate Lecturer in RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles and an expert in sustainable garment design and production, and transparency in supply chain dynamics.

She says in fashion, collaboration has brought exciting new possibilities to the industry as experts across a range of fields work to find technological solutions to the industry’s most pressing problems.

“Technology has been solving issues in the industry for a long time, enabling innovation and reducing demand on existing products and processes,” she says.

“We’re seeing everything from regenerated fibres and entirely new materials to living microbes that reduce dye waste, lifecycle tracking solutions for the whole industry and apps for renting, buying and swapping clothes.”

She says digitisation could be set to radically redefine retail shopping experiences with the COVID-19 restrictions a timely catalyst for changing the way brands reach consumers in news and engaging ways.

Fashion isn’t the only industry leaning into the benefits of technology and Noel Waite from RMIT’s School of Design says cloud-based software has enabled designers to adapt to the changing environment.

“Technology is making our work possible during the pandemic. It’s allowed us to have designers distributed all across Melbourne, even globally, and keep working and collaborating,” he says of RMIT’s Master of Communication Design students.

He says designers can pivot from a face-to-face exhibition to an online one in a very short space of time, and this is another example of how technology is helping designers reimagine the way work is done and shared beyond physical boundaries. 

“We’re really fortunate locally to have Geelong and Melbourne as part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. This kind of network really allows creatives to think about how design can develop sustainable and inclusive cities.”

“That kind of human-centred and ecologically sustainable creativity is all built on collaboration between people using technology to create sustaining solutions.”


Story: Grace Taylor

This discussion was part of the #RMITechMatters live webinar series.


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