Design has always been something tangible, but it’s making the transition to the digital realm. That shift in the industry has been slow but steady.

Chip Wade, owner of Wade Works Creative, Emmy-winning HGTV host and expert craftsman, joined the conversation today to provide insight on the intersection of technology and design.

Wade has a long history of working with his hands, growing up in a family of designers. He started his career as a structural engineer in residential housing, then found himself able to merge all the areas of creation on HGTV.

“I’ve also been interested in what can be done with materials,” he said. “Creativity stems from what is possible. It’s crafting the roadmap to creation.”

He’s been able to do that on TV for the last 15 years, working on over 3,000 renovations. He then started his own firm because of the exposure. The firm now works on hundreds of projects a year, but he soon learned he could either be on-site in a construction role or do everything else.

“I wanted to be flexible in design focus. That then turned into doing a lot of 3D virtual content,” Wade said.

He launched a production company that partners with home design brands developing content for them, helping them tell their story to consumers.

“You can’t fake understanding the purchasing journey of a consumer. It’s always changing, and because we’re serving consumers in the real world, it allows us to stay relevant and create content that resonates with them,” Wade said.

Wade talked about trends in design, as well, and how innovative materials are providing both style and durability. The other big trend in design is virtual experiences, made even more necessary due to COVID.

“These interactive and virtual experiences season the physical environments that have become stale. Now, brands are realizing the opportunity,” he said.

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