A Look Back and A Step Forward

As we ramp up for one of the biggest events of the year, we take a look back on where we've been and where we're heading.

05.01.2013 by Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC

There seems to be energy in the air, with economic indicators for the design industry on the upswing and clients ready to commit to projects that may have been on hold for some time. The industry is abuzz with excitement, and with NeoCon on the horizon, we look forward to learning about new products that incorporate technology and innovative materials, and solutions that create new and different environments.

This process of continual learning is imperative for designers in a business climate that changes rapidly and requires high-level information. With this in mind, ASID started its strategic planning this year with a renewed focus on providing its members—and the industry as a whole—with resources, information and tools for continued learning, knowledge building and sharing. As we ramp up for one of the biggest events of the year, we take a look back on where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

We launched our fiscal year last September with our first State of the Industry address to the press and industry stakeholders on the value of interior design and its economic impact on the economy. This report was eye-opening, not only because of the sheer size of the interior design industry ($64 billion dollars!), but for the insights it provided about the business of design and evolving models of practice, including “a la carte” fee structures, online design businesses, internet marketing and the expanding opportunities in today’s global market.

The information presented in the “State of the Industry” report was supported by a series of positive Interior Design Billings Index reports, which further detailed points of practice and professional data about the economic trends driving our industry. The Billings Index provides a similar snapshot of the industry as it relates to economic recovery, and is important as companies set strategies for the remainder of the year and beyond.

It’s clear that what we do has an incredible impact and communicating that effect remains a core goal. To that end, building the knowledge base for the profession continues in the work of the ASID Foundation, through which our robust research agenda is supported. The Foundation supports the ASID strategic plan and provides a greater influence across the industry through grants and scholarships, educational offerings and a new Leadership Academy, which we will be rolling out this year.

ASID has also broadened its pro bono partnerships with organizations such as The 1% program of Public Architecture and promoted design competitions, such as Design for a Difference, to link interior designers with local community service projects.

Now, a little more than halfway through our fiscal year, we are pleased to continue this momentum at NeoCon. This world-class event provides an exciting opportunity to explore new ideas and products, to advance one’s knowledge, and to identify trends and patterns of practice.

More importantly, innovation emerges vibrantly as design takes center stage at NeoCon. This experience remains one of our key areas of focus for professionals, students, educators and industry partners, and we look forward to supporting the profession through a high level of participation. Here are just some of the great events we have planned—we hope you can join us!

asid@neocon 2013 keynote speaker
Award-winning designer Michael Vanderbyl will be featured as our keynote speaker, followed by a rich program of educational workshops, social events, design tours and networking opportunities.

asid forum—assessing and predicting the future of interior design
Monday, June 10
9:30-10:30 a.m. | Holiday Inn
Join us for an interactive forum on “Assessing and Predicting the Future of Interior Design.” This session will bring together academic and practitioner panelists who have studied and observed social expectation trends related to the scope of practice for interior designers.

asid emerging
professional town hall

Tuesday, June 11
4-7:30 p.m. | Atelier Lapchi Showroom, Floor 6, Merchandise Mart
This open forum discussion among design thought leaders focuses on progressive trends that interior designers study and implement.

asid tour—the lurie children’s hospital of chicago
Tuesday, June 11
10-11 a.m. | Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
ASID is offering an engaging and educational tour of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Named one of the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report, Lurie Children’s exemplifies the positive effect evidence-based design has on the human experience.

asid career exchange and portfolio review
Wednesday, June 12
9–10:30 a.m. | Floor 7, Merchandise Mart
Join us for the leading event for interior design students and recent graduates! Bring your portfolio and resume to be reviewed by an industry professional or ASID leader. Find your next interior design job or internship through networking at the ASID Career Exchange.

Don’t forget to stop by the ASID booth to frame your design experience. There will be giveaways, a chance to get your questions answered by ASID staff and members, and an activity sure to inspire and frame your perspective of design—stay tuned for more details! All of this will take place in booth #7-2106 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day of the show—join us and take part in the design conversation!

If you can’t make it to the show, don’t worry—ASID has many more exciting plans in the works for the remainder of the year, including original research, the expansion of our partnerships, educational programming, and participation in collaborative discussions that affect the profession. Considering globalization, social responsibility and emerging business models, we move forward with our strategic plan to communicate the impact of interior design on the human experience. If you’d like to learn more about what ASID and our members are doing to make an impact in design, please visit www.asid.org/experience.

Visit www.asid.org/neocon for more information about ASID’s events at NeoCon.


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 asid@asid.org, and on the web at www.asid.org.