Q&A with the International Design Guild’s Kathleen Callahan, Partner for Acquisition & Engagement
What is your company’s involvement with ASID?
International Design Guild (IDG) is a long-time Industry Partner of ASID and we whole-heartedly support the organization’s mission to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. To that end, we not only join at the corporate level, but also cover the cost of this membership for all 88 of our showrooms. At the chapter level, our members are able to gain a variety of opinions and ideas from the local design community that can be used to improve their businesses and keep them on top of the local design scene.
What is your company’s tie to interior design and the interior design community?
IDG is the only luxury flooring alliance in the country and many of our showrooms are “to the trade only.” We offer programs for design professionals to strengthen the relationship between the interior design community and our IDG showrooms. The IDG Designer Program supports the advancement of the Interior Design profession by partnering & supporting ASID and offering robust business tools and training along with the power of a strong network.
Why do you believe ASID is so important to the design community?
Having a trusted resource, like ASID, committed to advancing design as a profession and willing to advocate for a better understanding of the value of interior design is crucial to the advancement of the industry as a whole.
For new designers or first time Dwell on Design attendees, what advice would you give?
Attend the GO PRO sessions. These sessions are so important to helping connect the next generation of designers with the industry. Despite the virtual access to knowledge and inspiration from leading practitioners, aspiring designers are still challenged to get noticed, create their own design identity and make their work meaningful for their communities. There’s no other session where an emerging professional can get these kinds of concentrated learning and networking opportunities.
What are you most looking forward to during ASID@Dwell on Design?
Seeing our spokesperson, Mark Brunetz, keynote the PRO Bono panel at the GO PRO/LA session. It’s so important to instill in aspiring designers the responsibility of doing pro bono work and to help them recognize the benefits of giving back, not only in their own lives but the positive impact it can have on the identity of the profession.
I also always look forward to the furniture and accessories exhibits. Coming from the flooring industry, it’s great to see how materials and designs are used in other industries—there’s always something spectacular to see there!
Are you debuting anything new at the show?
Our exciting new contest called Design For A Difference is in full swing and available for all ASID designers to enter. We will award $20,000 in goods and resources so that a designer can makeover a space at their favorite local charity. Entering is easy as it’s based on a design concept for a charity space, not a completed work. Dwell on Design is just in the nick of time, as the deadline to enter is June 30.
What’s next for your company?
Fulfilling the winning design will be a major focus this fall. In addition to the national winner, we are awarding $2,500 in flooring to four runner-ups: one from each region of the U.S. And since we are shooting the entire makeover process, needless to say, we have our hands full. But it’s the best kind of busy.
Any last thoughts on the importance of interior design that you want to share?
Interior design is a wonderful tool for collaboration and bringing people together. Working with ASID and participating at events like Dwell on Design are important because they not only teach us that great design is timeless and of the moment, but if we miss the people, we miss the point. I believe that’s what makes design so relevant and important today.
Image courtesy of Dabbieri Collection.