Design isn't just about aesthetics; it's about function, precision, and efficiency. Yet, for many interior designers, time-consuming manual measurements and recreating existing layouts can erode hours that might be better spent on creativity and expression. Enter Canvas, a revolutionary tool that is reshaping the way interior designers capture measurements with both efficiency and precision.
To understand the transformative impact of Canvas on the design process, we spoke with Jonathan Gordon, lead designer, founder, and owner of Design by the Jonathans, LLC, an award-winning New Haven, CT-based interior and commercial design firm. He has been leveraging Canvas for years, refining the company's workflow.
It all started when measuring a large house took Jonathan 10 hours, followed by an additional 10 hours to input those dimensions into his design software. Determined to find a better way, he discovered the initial iteration of Canvas, which required the purchase and installation of an external sensor. But it was when Apple integrated LIDAR sensor technology into the iPad Pro in 2020 that Canvas became an integral part of the firm’s workflow.
But, as with any innovative technology, the team had to navigate a learning curve, understand the nuances, and adapt their workflow.
“Learning it was not hard, it’s very intuitive,” Jonathan noted. His approach? Channel your inner Ghostbuster and 'slime' the walls with the grey “slime” you see using the app. Successfully slime a space, and voila, the room's ghost appears in the app.
“We try to have a little bit of fun with it,” he added.
Jonathan detailed the consistent and critical role Canvas played in their projects over the years.
“For scanning, the whole company uses it frequently – anywhere from five to 20 times a month. In a year, that amounts to over 100 projects.”
But for Design by the Jonathans, the true power of Canvas lies in its efficiency and precision benefits. Where traditional methods can mean navigating physical obstacles and spending excessive time, Canvas offers a swift, safe, and precise solution. With a simple movement of an iPad, it bypasses obstructions, capturing the room effortlessly.
“Imagine needing to measure a restaurant, tables everywhere. Traditional measuring would have me clambering over furniture, risking my neck, just trying to measure the room end to end,” he said. “With Canvas, I can just stand there with my iPad and slime the surfaces. It smartly ignores the tables and chairs, capturing the room.”
Jonathan is quick to highlight Canvas's drastically reduced measurement times and impressive precision.
The real marvel is Canvas's ability to seamlessly translate captured data into design-ready files.
“It's one thing to have a 3D representation, but translating that into usable files for design tools like Chief Architect? Canvas delivers a detailed, usable design file. That is itself a game-changer,” he stressed.
While there are alternatives to Canvas, none match its functionality and affordability. And for many smaller firms, such an investment doesn't make sense.
“Despite our firm's ability to invest in more expensive options, Canvas just makes the most sense for us with the tech that's out there right now,” said Jonathan. “Show me a good alternative that's going to do what Canvas does — I haven't found it.”
In the demanding and ever-evolving world of interior design, tools like Canvas aren't mere conveniences—they're must-haves, merging the worlds of precision, efficiency, and innovation.