ASID Thought Leaders See Demand for Interior Design

05/07/2019 By American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

As part of the 2019 ASID Outlook and State of Interior Design report, the Society examined perspectives from current industry thought leaders. Despite differences in background, specialty and practice size, there’s an agreement among the featured thought leaders that interior design is experiencing a resurgence in demand due to the ongoing shift toward occupant-centered, supportive and performative spaces. Here are a handful of their insights:

Elizabeth von Lehe, Allied ASID, design and brand strategy principal, HDR: “Interior design itself has an immense opportunity to be a differentiator. The market is shifting, and we win over our competition because we are talking about the human experience. The focus is on design happening on a human scale, versus the traditional approach in those types of projects, which is architecture. The tastes of clients are changing, and that’s a really positive thing.”

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Kay Sargent, ASID, CID, LEED AP, MCR.w, WELL AP, senior principal, Director of WorkPlace, HOK: “I want the conversation to be about creating spaces that are diverse and inclusive for everyone — people with different physical abilities, neurological diversities, different gender and ethnic groups, or different types of orientations. We need to create spaces that allow everybody to be welcome and to find the right experience and setting for themselves.”

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Drew McGukin, Allied ASID, Principal, owner, Drew McGukin Interiors: “As an interior designer, I think our role has become less about being the one who gets everything or finds the right stuff, and it’s really become more about being a creative director and to be willing to operate with your client’s point of view. A lot of what our firm focuses on is using that to our advantage rather than resisting that change.”

Leigh Stringer, LEED AP, Workplace Strategy, principal, EYP Architecture & Engineering: “We are all getting more sophisticated about health and well-being and staying on top of research, because we have to. Clients aren’t necessarily taking our word at face value. They are really digging in and asking, ‘When you say something is psychologically beneficial, where is your research to back that up?’ — which is good news. Our industry is having to step up and continue to prove itself.”

Suzanne Nicholson, ASID, principal and strategist, Meyer; executive director of partner engagement and operations, ONE Global Design: “I think it’s too early to tell how things will develop beyond this year. But, I think our industry continues to be recognized as a necessary influencer to most businesses, whether it’s retail, hospitality, education or if it’s living. Design, where it used to be ‘nice’ to be included, is recognized as it ‘has’ to be involved. You have to consider and incorporate design in office space, in healthcare, in all facets of the built environment. Design must be considered in every aspect of every business, whether it’s from a wellness factor, aesthetic factor, efficiency or whether it’s from an attraction factor. While I think things in business and the world may change, there will continue to be the need for design. How we deliver it might be different, the process we take might be different, the outcomes may be different, but I think it’s still going to be a very vital part of businesses.”

The full 2019 ASID Outlook and State of Interior Design report (bit.ly/2ULCbAn) is available for download. ASID members may download the 2019 Outlook and State of Interior Design report free of charge, and non-members may purchase the report for $249.95.

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