KBIS 2024 VFTI Session: Smart Technology for All Living in Place Clients – NKBA


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KBIS 2024 VFTI Session: Smart Technology for All Living in Place Clients

Toni Sabatino presented innovative solutions for accessibility to industry professionals at the trade show.

By Nicholas Tamarin

Toni Sabatino, AKBD, of Toni Sabatino Style, has designed residential and commercial projects in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and the Hamptons, as well as in resort destinations like Vermont, coastal California, Palm Beach, Orlando and Las Vegas. Sabatino is also the former President of the NKBA | KBIS Manhattan Chapter, recipient of the 2019 NKBA | KBIS Star Award for Best President and a member of the KBB Editorial Advisory Board.

After traveling from  her current base in Northport, New York to Las Vegas for KBIS 2024, Sabatino presented the VFTI Session: Smart Technology for All Living in Place Clients to K&B experts including Louie Delaware, President and Founder of the Living In Place Institute.

She began her session by saying that, “Good design and the built environment should promote the dignity of all people of all abilities to age in place.” The designer then delved into the heart of her lecture with the following takeaways:

  • In the past, technology and wellness may have seemed incompatible, but the lockdown brought a focus on home life. As a result, we have become more accustomed to using technological aids. Online shopping, health and wellness information and doctor appointments via telehealth are just some of the ways that we have become more reliant on technology.    
  • Specific technology to support wellness is becoming the norm. This includes air and water filtration, health monitoring apps and simple surveillance and security monitoring. 
  • Technology has also made it easier to communicate and connect with others through large screens for Zoom and Teams meetings and social events, YouTube tutorials and guided meditation. As a result, technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives, and we are becoming more trusting of the tech that helps us get through the day.
  • Smart technology allows people to live in comfort, retain independence and gain dignity. It can help older individuals to monitor their health and allows them to stay engaged with family, friends and world affairs, thus avoiding loneliness and depression.
  • When designers talk to clients, sharing what they know about assistive devices and home aids can be a tricky conversation. Providing information to homeowners on what is available to assist in protecting their independence and investment in a new home build or remodel is an important part of a designer’s role and responsibility.

Sabatino concluded by stating, “Designers are sociologists. We study how people live. And we have to adapt.”