Last year, ASID and The 1%, a program of Public Architecture that facilitates a matching service to connect firms with nonprofits seeking pro bono design services, began a partnership to encourage ASID members to pledge a minimum of 1% of their time to pro bono service.
Public Architecture recently caught up with ASID member, Kia Weatherspoon, Allied ASID, to learn about her work with other interior designers and mental health professionals in the Washington, D.C. region to establish the nonprofit, Room to Rebloom. Amy Ress of Public Architecture sat down with Kia to find out about her firm’s participation in The 1% and her work with low-income women and families through her work with Room to Rebloom.
Amy: How do you describe your design practice?
Kia: Determined by Design, LLC is a concept driven design firm. We believe design is determined by four things: concept, individuality, connectivity, and people.
Amy: What values and interests do you bring to your work? What inspires you?
Kia: The two things I value the most as a designer are a strong concept and people. You can’t have one without the other. The foundation of any project is the concept, which guides every decision I make. My concepts are then formed around people and how they will experience the space. I’ve always been inspired by creating impactful spaces for people; spaces that invoke a positive and reaffirming emotion.
Amy: Please tell me about Room to Rebloom. How does R2R contribute to helping women in D.C. who are victims of domestic violence?
Kia: Room to Rebloom’s mission is to empower low-income women and families in the National Capital area who have been victims of domestic violence by providing them with design services and other resources needed to create inspiring home spaces, and to help in their endeavor to rebuild their lives. Room to Rebloom will aid these women by using restorative design and revitalizing their environment to create an atmosphere of security and inspiration.
Amy: As a new participant, what do you hope to gain from The 1% pro bono design program?
Kia: I joined The 1% program with a goal to inspire other emerging designers to make an impact in their community. As designers, we have a commitment to make good design accessible to the community at large. This is why I am involved with Room to Rebloom, to create spaces that will have a powerful, positive and lasting impact on these women and their families. Resources like The 1% program are invaluable because its gives designers a starting point to give back.
Amy: You’ve mentioned being an active ASID member. How does the ASID partnership with Public Architecture’s 1% program support the Society’s commitment to advance the profession and communicate the impact of interior design?
Kia: The key to any successful design venture is collaboration. This collaboration is influential because it reinforces ASID’s commitment to promote the value of design. Design value encompasses pro bono design but it is often overlooked. ASID’s partnership with The 1% emphasizes the importance of pro bono design to ASID’s members and the design community.
Amy: What advice would you give other designers who are interested to get involved?
Kia: It’s advantageous to start small. Look at the needs of the surrounding communities, find projects that inspire you, and volunteer your time/services. A small organization may appreciate something as simple as a fresh color scheme and organizational tips. The biggest impact sometimes comes from the smallest changes. These types of minor details can be the essence of pro bono design and make a positive difference.
Give 1%. Are you an interior design member of ASID, but not a part of The 1% network that is making a difference? Join now.
The ASID Foundation is only able to support programs like the 1% project with your help. Donate today to help build the ASID Foundation and strengthen the profession.