Diversity is also the reason I love the interior design industry. As I begin my year as president, I join a diverse group — leaders, educators, practitioners, product manufacturers and policy makers — all with different passions and specialties. After all, interior design spans so many practice areas. From hospitals and schools, to hotels, office buildings and homes, interior design touches everyone — where we live, where we work and where we play. Although we each have different perspectives and areas of interest, one trait we all share is our recognition of the impact interior design has on the human experience.
That impact can be positive, but it also can be negative. It is up to us.
Through a process that often begins as a napkin sketch or pages flagged in a magazine, interior designers play a powerful role in interpreting the needs and wants of our clients and using experience and data to fill in the blanks. We have the opportunity to take them places beyond their imagination, to surpass expectations and truly make an impact.
When you consider the built environment and the amount of time people spend indoors, it is obvious how much of life is impacted by interior design each day. We need to be proud of that. And we need to envision the potential not only to protect the health of users of our spaces, but also to help make improvements. Daylight. Ergonomics. Functional space. Beauty. Fresh air. Our industry’s broad scope empowers us to make inroads in all of these areas — not only to do less harm, but actually to do good.
Over my career, I have certainly enjoyed the “wow” effect, watching clients react when they first see a finished space. But I live for the moment months (or years) later when I return to see the users of the space enjoying it day after day. The key is to connect what we experience, learn, teach and observe to research — and to put real data behind the impact we know good design has on the world. That’s why ASID is focusing on meaningful research; for example, our Transform grants encourage partnerships among design professionals, industry representatives and academia to ensure research is accessible to practitioners. And that is only the beginning.
No matter the size, shape or flavor, apples share one design feature in common: their core. The vision of ASID is to be at the core of the design network. In a world with no shortage of challenges — from competition for fees and the rise of types of firms and professionals in the marketplace to the implications of globalization and increased strains on resources of every kind — it is imperative that we communicate the powerful impact interior design has on our lives each day.
As new chapter leaders across the country assume our roles we do so with a strong resolve to see the opportunities in these challenges and to showcase the impact of design in our own communities. Know that ASID is working to provide innovative programs and tools to make this year a success. Together we will make a difference.
Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, FASID, CID, LEED AP BD+C
ASID National President