INTERSECTION: Interiors and Technology

Innovations in technology are radically changing the way we experience interiors.  With the speed of advancing interactive technology, we are being challenged as designers to allow these drivers to enhance how people experience interior space.

This past summer, David Hammond, Creative Director at Ada Bible Church, looked to Jennifer Butler Interior Design to develop a creative solution to improve how people navigate and experience space at their multi-venue Cascade campus.  

One of the challenges Ada faces, is that of connecting meaningfully and authentically with the thousands of people who go through their doors every week, including both those more and less technically savvy. 

As a forward-thinking church, Ada Bible is making strides in harnessing the power of emerging technologies.  The church is exploring how to use mobile devices for charitable giving, distributing and collecting information, and for getting involved in their extensive ministry opportunities.  The relevance of technology at church is clear, however, to be really effective it must be coupled with genuine hospitality.

Partial schematic design for Ada Bible Church

After a series of conversations with Ada's leadership and hospitality team, and after several Sunday visits, JBID, with architectural support from AMDG Architects, came up with a design solution that is allowing Ada to harness the power of technology and still protect the fundamental value of building a rich and genuine community of faith.

Key challenges and solutions include:

  • Are you new?  People First - Nothing replaces the power of a human "hello" and handshake!
  • Feeling Lost?  Strong Visual Cues - Using color & architectural mass in lieu of traditional forms of signage.
  • Can't move?  Flow - Traffic studies inform space planning.
  • Disoriented?  Physical Organization - Stacking, grouping and continuity
  • Vision Blocked? Unimpeded Transaction - Technology in your hands, not in your face.


San Francisco Tourism office                                                          NYC Information Center

In our research, we came across this image of the NYC Information Center that effectively illustrates how designers are using technology to engage community in an approachable and hospitable way.  More recently, we discovered a similar application at the San Francisco Tourism office, featured in the November 2012 issue of Contract Design Magazine.