How AI is transforming kitchen design with Isla Porter

What has changed most in the design industry since you first began working in it? 

One of the common answers to that question you’ll hear from interior designers, architects and furniture manufacturers alike, is that the variety of products and aesthetics brands offer has increased significantly. 

Since the first Ikea opened in the US in 1985 followed by DWR in 1998, the US home furnishings market has seen a rapid evolution, inspired by overseas designs, which increased exponentially thanks to the internet, then again because of social media.

The same cannot be said, however, of the renovation side of the home design business. Building and renovating has remained relatively stagnant compared to furniture, lighting and decor, but now, with the emergence of artificial intelligence, that is about to change. 

Isla Porter is cooking up big plans for AI in the kitchen

Emerging AI technology is set to shake up the kitchen design and renovation, with the launch of new company Isla Porter this spring. The custom kitchen cabinetry company, founded by industry veterans Sharon Dranko and Emily Arthur, pairs powerful AI capabilities with forward design to reimagine the kitchen renovation process. 

This week on Disruptive Design, I sat down with Isla Porter CEO, Sharon Dranko, and CCO, Emily Arthur to discuss artificial intelligence and kitchen design. Click play on the video to watch the discussion:

“Our inspiration stemmed from our own renovation experiences and the desire to inject more innovation, simplicity, and excitement into the kitchen design process, while providing a premium product and experience,” said Dranko, Isla Porter’s CEO.

AI allows for greater customization in kitchen design

Isla Porter aims to bring modern, diverse product offerings into a space that has seen little innovation from traditional manufacturers. “A lot of these product pieces are parts of larger systems. Where we’ve seen kitchens evolve is they’ll use new coloring or maybe a door style once a year, but they focus on what others are doing,” said Arthur, the company’s Chief Creative Officer.  

The startup is utilizing AI to streamline the complex design process and provide greater customization. Through their app, users scan an existing space, complete a preferences questionnaire, and receive AI-optimized floor plan layouts measured to 1/16th of an inch precision.

“The AI generates 8,500 different floor plan permutations and we provide the best options,” explained Arthur. Designers then select from over 20 door styles, 70 finishes, decorative panels, glass inserts and more to create a fully customized kitchen.

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Isla Porter has an exclusive partnership with leading AI innovators to power the technology. “We’ve created an exciting, premium cabinetry line that is highly customizable, to meet a range of aesthetics,” said Arthur. “The goal is to provide all the elements needed to create a dream kitchen, allowing designers to harness AI power for the technical details.”

AI is not a replacement for creativity, for designers, or for luxury services

The co-founders argue AI will be an enabling tool, not a replacement for designers. “AI is infused in so much we use today. It’s not taking creativity away because it’s not a creative engine itself,” said Arthur.

Isla Porter is focused on the designer market currently, with plans to offer a homeowner service at a higher price point. “As AI evolves, it’s going to handle mundane tasks,” said Dranko. “We need to create new, exciting experiences as interior design will always be a luxury service.”

The startup, backed by investors like Nancy Tsuei, plans an official launch later this Spring with pre-assembled cabinetry available 14 weeks after ordering. Designers can sign up for the beta test on the Isla Porter website.

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