Looking Back at the Best of 2019 and Ahead to 2020

12/04/2019 By Robert Nieminen

December occupies a unique space in time situated between the dusk of one year and the dawn of the next. On the one hand, it’s a season of closure and reflection, and on the other, it’s about imagining the possibilities of what’s ahead.

That, in a nutshell, is what this issue is about: looking backward at the best of what 2019 had to offer and setting our sights on what 2020 has to bring.

Readers’ Choice Awards

As we do annually, we opened the polls in October to find out which products we published in the magazine this year were your favorites. And the results are in!

We received nearly 10,000 votes, and in some cases, it was a very close finish (there were only three votes separating our first and second place winners in the Details & Décor category).

Find out which products earned the coveted titled of our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards to and see if your horse won the race. Personally, I cast my vote for an innovative new carpet line I discovered at NeoCon, Relaxing Floors by Mohawk Group.

Association News

In keeping with the awards theme, ASID also announces in this issue the winners of its 2019 Outcome of Design Awards (OODA) for best project. Presented in partnership with Herman Miller and NeoCon, OODA is designed to celebrate the power of design and recognizes projects that successfully illustrate that “Design Impacts Lives” through data-driven results.

Because measuring the best in design can be a subjective process, OODA instead looks at the data behind the design intent to impact well-being, productivity and collaboration.

This year also marked IIDA’s 25th anniversary, which means there was cause for the Association to celebrate. Aside from another successful year of programming, design leadership and community-building, IIDA saw the inaugural launches of exciting new publications, scholarships and panel discussions, and is excited about what the future holds.

[Related: Innovative Acoustics Solutions at Frasch]

To that end, IIDA’s CEO Cheryl Durst shares her hopes for the upcoming year of design, which includes:

  • Increased use and respect for materials once considered “humble” or “indigenous” like hemp, terracotta, jute or sisal

  • A continued resurgence of biophilic principles and materials

  • More people of color and women in design leadership roles across the architecture and design industry

Women in Design Leadership

Speaking of diversity, we ask why there are so few women holding leadership positions in the industry (only 11%), when more than 60% of designers are women? Rather than merely citing statistics, however, we wanted to include women in these discussions.

We interviewed several prominent female designers and entrepreneurs to get their perspective on the past and future of diversity in the industry. What are women’s opinions, particularly those who currently hold leadership positions in the architecture and design community, on design leadership heading into a new decade?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in this eye-opening article.

A Present and the Future

Finally, let’s not forget about the present. We want to help you get ready for the holidays this winter in sustainable style by introducing you to the Fräsch Christmas tree. Each tree – available in 26 colors and standing five feet tall—is made of PET felt, recycles 100 plastic bottles, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to 4Ocean and Ocean Conservancy.

Slavka Younger, co-founder of Fräsch, says the trees were originally created for an architecture and design partner firm before the project grew into a larger charitable initiative. Because initial interest in the trees has been overwhelming, Younger hopes they will become an annual tradition.

And in that hope, Younger reveals a timeless truth: creating something of value today that will one day be part of a legacy is how we can make the world a better place.

So, as the year draws to a close, perhaps we can all ask ourselves: what can we do today to shape the design world of tomorrow?

Read next: Find Out the Winners of Readers' Choice 2019