The State of Design

This year marks an especially momentous occasion for Interiors & Sources, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary! Join us in looking back at our past and forward to design's future.

by Erika Templeton

This time of year is when the design industry really shines. We see the best and brightest come out en masse to showcase their work. It’s a feast for the eyes, as we all run around with arms full of catalogs and inboxes full of party invitations.

This year marks an especially momentous occasion for Interiors & Sources, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary (more about that when we look back on 30 years of profiles, and 30 years of material innovation).

It’s hard to imagine what the design landscape was like three decades ago: pre-widespread globalization, pre-digital revolution, pre-“green”—and pre-me, as it so happens, so my perspective is admittedly skewed. But looking back and witnessing the evolution of design, I am struck not by any single factor of this “new normal” of business, but rather the huge strides our industry has taken in elevating the concept of design as a whole.

Today’s general consumer is more informed and design savvy than any of their predecessors. As you’ll see in this month’s World-At-Large feature, that is paying huge dividends when it comes to new workplace projects. Corporate real estate and facility management leaders are now talking the talk, and viewing design as an investment rather than an expense.

As architectural theorist and researcher Alexander Lorimer advocates, it is our job to continue bringing these design-conscious end-users into the fold. Co-creation is clearly here to stay in the consumer product market, and as the concept goes more mainstream, architects and designers stand to benefit from incorporating such practices in their work as well.

What else will the next 30 years hold? I recently had the great pleasure of attending the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) symposium, Design+Economy=Our Future, which brought together cross-disciplinary working groups to craft new North American design policy. It is this kind of effort that will continue to weave our work into the fabric of society, and showcase the power of design to address major issues such as climate change, healthcare, education, and economic growth. I can't wait to see the results of IFI’s work—and all of yours—in the years to come.