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The Power of Partners

Partnerships are crucial for finding success in a dynamic industry like ours. Here’s a look at some of the alliances ASID has built this year.

By Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC

Partnerships are crucial for finding success in a dynamic industry like ours. Here’s a look at some of the alliances ASID has built this year.

Around this time last year, ASID leadership was busy putting the final touches on our 2013-2015 strategic plan, which informs not only what we need to do to achieve success as an organization, but more importantly, underscores the fundamental precepts that define our values and support our goals for advancing the profession.

Nearly a year into the plan’s operation, our efforts are beginning to come to fruition, and it has been extremely gratifying to see just how far we’ve pushed our members (and the industry as a whole) to expand the scope of design by providing the tools and information needed to excel in a now-global marketplace. But what lies ahead for the next two years?

Ultimately, we believe the success of both our members and the interior design profession requires the creation and fostering of partnerships between design professionals, corporations, professional associations and foundations. It’s by working together that we can promote the value of interior design within and outside of the design industry, and it’s why we’ve set our focus on building new partnerships to benefit ASID, our members and the community at large.

With the economy in recovery mode and the marketplace gaining momentum, we have launched several exciting initiatives to advance the profession of interior design. Two pivotal programs include the ASID Leadership Academy, an online curriculum for members and non-members seeking professional development and leadership training, and the ASID Business Strategies curriculum, which features CEU courses such as Finance 101 for Interior Design Businesses, Sustainability Action Plans and Ethics, and Ethical Business Practices.

It’s our hope that these resources will help designers become more effective, strategic and successful businesspeople and leaders. These courses can be accessed online at

We will continue to add more courses over the coming months on topics such as contracts, insurance, starting your own firm, career options for interior designers and more.

We also recognize that in the new economy, a global perspective is more important than ever. The international marketplace continues to drive new initiatives and change the way business is conducted. Designers need to understand the impact of emerging technologies and new business models, all of which continue to shape the profession and influence the consumers of interior design services.

To meet this challenge, we are increasing our involvement with organizations such as the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) to bring our members resources and opportunities that can increase their involvement in the global marketplace. Earlier this year, we signed an agreement to partner with IFI on a series of cultural innovation design dialogues that will take place across three U.S. cities in the coming year. We also partnered with IFI on World Interiors Day in May to officially recognize the impact of design in our cities and communities across the world.

To help our members further demonstrate the value and impact of interior design through pro bono work and volunteerism, we are now also working with the 1% program of Public Architecture, an innovative program that connects design firms with nonprofits in need of design assistance and asks designers to commit 1 percent of their time to pro bono service. [Look for a special feature on pro bono design in the September issue of Interiors & Sources.] 

We’ve also developed a partnership with Dwell Media that will provide year-round print and digital opportunities for ASID designers to showcase their work, as well as in person at national events such as Dwell on Design and Dwell Home Tours. Most recently, the ASID Foundation joined the Board of Trustees of the National Building Museum in an effort to advance the Foundation’s mission of collaboration, research and funding for projects that broaden the value of interior design.

As we get ready to start the second year of our strategic plan, we will continue to focus on bringing the design community great programs aimed at improving connectivity among members and the design community; giving designers business tools and leadership training; and creating a connection based on the impact of interior design on the human experience. This connection gives rise to collaboration, and through our collaboration, we elevate design for all.


Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC is the national president of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and owner/principal of Marini Interiors, Inc. a commercial interior design and consulting firm in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. ASID can be reached at (202) 546-3480 or, and on the web at