According to the Interior Design 2015/2016 Outlook and State of the Industry Report by the American Society of Interior Designers, the health of the interior design industry is strong. In fact, several indicators suggest that interior design has fully recovered from the recession, with the total number of employed interior designers (60,824), the total number of design firms (13,257), total sales ($8.6 billion), and the dollar value of products specified ($68.5 billion) now approaching or above pre-recession levels. Billings and inquiries are up, too, with positive expectations into next year, and that translates into a hot job market: 25 percent of firms of all sizes and design specialties intend to hire new employees in the next year. Many report struggling to find and retain the talent they need.
But interior design isn’t just growing, it’s evolving, too. Macro-trends that affect all of us (Health & Well-being, Technology, Sustainability, Urbanization, Globalization, and Resiliency) are changing the topics we consider when working on a design project. Holistic design thinking and higher sustainability standards are identified here as the most transformative, while designing for healthy behavior and the Internet of Things are two of the fastest moving. Each of these macro and sub-trends are being adopted by designers of different disciplines at various rates. Firms that don’t adapt to the trends are at risk of getting left behind, especially as threats loom such as those posed by increased international competition and the emergence of crowdsourcing.