Working on the “Shifting Landscape” article for the Winter 2012 issue was a great opportunity for me to connect with a variety of industry professionals to explore differing viewpoints on the state of to-the-trade and how it will impact the future of the design industry.
I entered the design profession in the 90’s, so I am no stranger to running to the design center for resource options. I think I even had to swear on the life of an unborn child that I would bring a fabric sample back on time. As I worked as a designer and then transitioned to the marketing side of the industry, I have witnessed many challenges to designers’ business practices.
Based on my research and conversations with many in the industry, I think this is an exciting time for designers to reposition themselves and take more control over their businesses. I hope designers can find a way to develop a business model that places more value on the services they provide and less financial dependence on the products they sell. I believe that creating a more transparent process and open door policy with clients and the public as a whole will benefit the profession.
This is an educational process that will take time, but I think it is an important step for the design profession. In addition, I hope more resources can be developed to help designers acquire the business skills and confidence they need to adjust their business models and support their professional success.