Looking Forward

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of IIDA, Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl Durst shares her thoughts on design today and where it is headed in the future.

by Cheryl S. Durst

The same can be said for the lobbies of healthcare facilities. Just as the re-envisioning of lobbies as personal spaces in the hospitality industry has transformed the role of those spaces from simple reception areas to multifunctional gathering spaces, lobbies in healthcare environments must be segmented and flexible enough to provide ample room for a good-sized family welcoming its latest bundle of joy, as well as cater to the privacy many others will need at a difficult time in their lives. See? Place matters.

And not just place, but geographic location matters, too. Of the current trends in hospitality, an emphasis on regionalism stands out a bit as surprising for not having been a greater constant in the industry all along. Restaurants that source their ingredients nearby literally put local flavor in the mouths of their patrons. Commissioning local artists to create works that convey local tone or color affords the hospitality provider’s brand to more fully integrate with the culture that surrounds it. The same is obviously true for businesses, civil, or cultural institutions looking to connect with the communities they serve. Incorporating regional sculpture or other artwork in design spaces like a school or library, for example, not only stimulates the minds of those experiencing the work and allows the art to function as it should, but it also creates a distinct association of place that lingers in the memory even after you’ve left the building.

Technological integration, for hospitality providers, is more than a must, it’s a certainty. For most people in 2014, the initial point of contact with any hotel or other service provider is a website that speaks to the brand and the mission of the business, but that also goes beyond to create an inviting experience.

The built environment of today and tomorrow further integrates the technologies that surround us in our everyday lives, offering greater interactivity and a seamless experience between the real world and the virtual. Designers will continue to meet the challenges of integrating technology into museums, libraries, corporate offices, entertainment spaces, and other environments of every shape and purpose through vigorous innovation and persistently dynamic design thinking.

You can expect to find this progressive philosophy in the pages of What Clients Want, Vol. 2, and it’s what we at IIDA so look forward to seeing and earnestly supporting in the decades to come, as we have for the past 20 years.


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