The premier event for emerging interior designers made its debut on the west coast June 21 – 22, under the roof of the LA Convention Center during Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event. Using a model which identifies the interests, needs and trends that empower emerging professionals, GO PRO/LA brought together more than 60 designers from across the country for a weekend unlike any other. Five custom-designed experiential sessions were offered with the admission to GO PRO/LA: PROfessional Advancement, PROduct, PRO Bono, PROcess and PROject.
PROfessional Advancement: Creating Your Design Identity
Kicking off the GO PRO/LA experience, this interactive panel discussion brought together five successful women who have made the design industry their home through various means, including publishing, owning a firm, managing multiple brands under one name, creating a video series and authoring books. Kia Weatherspoon, Allied ASID, hosted the panel and asked challenging questions to each participant before inviting them into the audience for breakout sessions. Each panelist then rotated between groups, giving a brief talk on their vision for the industry and the importance of creating one’s own identity.
PROduct: VIP Tour of the Dwell on Design Show Floor
Led by Dwell President, Michela O’Connor Abrams, GO PRO/LA attendees received exclusive access to the trade show floor stopping by select booths. Cambria, GE Monogram, Hansgrohe, Innovation Norway, Jeff Lewis Paint, Resource Furniture and NCIDQ all welcomed the designers to explore their spaces and enjoy breakfast during this morning session.
PRO Bono: How Design Is Reinventing Los Angeles
One of the goals for GO PRO has been to incorporate the local city’s culture through the lens of the built environment, and this session truly did that with a somber story of the homelessness epidemic in Los Angeles. Hearing from multiple contributors to the Step Up on Vine project — a 1920’s hotel which has been converted into a permanent housing community for those who are homeless and suffering from mental illnesses — a designer, architect artist, and community development manager all brought the program full circle. The conversation was led by Mark Brunetz, Emmy Award winning host of Clean House and passionate pro bono advocate, who aided in the design of the community in 2012. The presentation not only told an inspirational story which was close to home in LA, but challenged GO PRO attendees to identify something they are passionate about or a need in their city that they could contribute their talents toward. As an ode to the Step Up on Vine residents, a large canvas print will be gifted to the community featuring handprints of all GO PRO attendees and other supporters of the program.
PROcess: Designing For The New Affluents
Michela O’Connor Abrams and her team at Dwell Labs have compiled data and industry trends which reflect the buying power and interests of those who are considered the “New Affluents.” With household incomes of over $300k annually, these consumers have broken away from the habits of those before them and provide new opportunities and challenges for those who wish to service them. The Dwell team identified the top brands which the affluents listed as those they are most loyal to and two high-end residential interior designers also shared their projects experiences with this demographic.
PROject: Design and Architecture Tour of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
A private tour of the campus of the world-renowned LACMA, including the much-anticipated Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA exhibit which projects his vision for the campus in the years to come. Exploring other exciting features of the museum like Levitated Mass, Latin Sounds on the Plaza and Urban Light, all provided an excellent way to end GO PRO by celebrating interior design, architecture and Los Angeles.
Other GO PRO/LA facts:
• Those who attended all of the GO PRO sessions received .7 CEU credits, more than enough to meet the ASID CEU requirement.
• Out of the 60 registrants, 20 of them were non- ASID members
• For the Emerging Professional Affairs Chairs representing their ASID professional chapters, there was a private gathering held to promote officer training and inter-chapter relationships.
If you missed GO PRO/LA, it’s not too late to gain the exclusive experience of this event! Plans are in the works for GO PRO/NYC on Oct. 4 – 5. Visit www.asid.org/gopro for more information.
Additional thanks to: NCIDQ, Modern Luxury, West Elm, Dwell Media, Step Up on Second, LACMA, Tangram, the LA Mart, Donna Marie Kent, and the International Design Guild’s Design For A Difference Competition.