I’m not one for sports metaphors. But, as we enter college football’s fall awakening, I’m open to the notion that in life, as in athletics, we all have a choice: We can stand on the sidelines, or we can get in the game. Association membership presents each of us with a similar choice: We can simply pay our dues and ask what ASID is doing for us, or we can engage with our organization and find out what can we do to invest in our profession.
Throughout the course of my career, I’ve always tried to choose the latter — even when it was costly in terms of time, energy, and personal resources. I know many of you who have done the same. And while it hasn’t always been easy, this choice has had a powerful impact on my professional life.
As ASID looks forward to new programming initiatives this fall, chapters have asked what their investment of time, talent and treasure looks like and what it will yield, especially when translating the Society’s national strategic plan to local and regional levels.
It’s a fair question: How are the Society’s national programs relevant to you, to your business, and to promoting the value of interior design in the marketplace?
On the research front, ASID has completed an analysis of the Affordable Care Act and how design interventions have a direct impact on fee reimbursements under the new healthcare law. When we launch the findings at the Healthcare Design Conference in November, we’ll not only have case studies of this evidence in practice, but a robust tool to help demonstrate and communicate the return on investment for interior design services. And Transform grant recipients received funding from the ASID Foundation earlier this year to explore the implications of design on recruitment, retention and satisfaction in the workplace. The findings are intended to provide the necessary evidence to validate that design is not an expense — it is an investment. Finally, ASID continues to invest in industry research to help provide a clearer understanding of our profession as you plan for the success of your business. If you haven’t downloaded the Interior Design 2014 Outlook and State of the Industry report, I encourage you to do so. And be sure to check back quarterly for the Society’s Interior Design Billings and Inquiry Indexes for leading indicators on the health of design demand.
From an advocacy perspective, the Society’s work protects and promotes interior design at the state and local levels. Most recently, our efforts in Massachusetts resulted in legislation that expands practice rights and ends unfair labor restrictions for interior designers. Friendship agreements, like the one signed this summer by ASID and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), showcase how mutual participation and industry collaboration will lead to a better professional environment. And this spring, ASID joined dozens of organizations in a statement on resiliency and our commitment to educating our members, government regulatory bodies, and the public about the need to support a more sustainable built environment. In addition, the work of our codes committee is intended to prepare all of our members for shifts in the way designers will practice in the future, ensuring interior design has a voice in the process.
Another facet of the Society’s offerings, our educational programming, is designed to translate the implications of our research and policy work into practice, and to expose members to thought leadership and content relevant to a wide array of practice areas. From design business and sustainability curricula to leadership and professional development events for emerging professionals, ASID is investing in the future of the profession and working to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed.
If you’re looking for ways to get in the game, there are some exciting opportunities coming up. GO PRO/NYC takes place in New York City this week, Sept. 18-19, and be sure to check out TouchDown, our student design competition that launched last month. Students and seasoned practitioners should make plans to participate in Real World Design Week, Nov. 2-8, which matches practicing designers with design students looking for insight into the field.
Finally, I want to draw attention to news of our recent commitment, in partnership with 11 other organizations, to the Clinton Global Initiative to develop “ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design” to improve well-being through better building design and construction. Through the commitment, ASID will convene a cross-sector, multidisciplinary group of leading doctors, nurses, healthcare administrators, interior designers, architects, engineers, product developers and suppliers to compose a single tool for professionals concerned about the built environment’s effect on people. The end result will be a simple yet comprehensive tool to navigate the difficult decisions all of us must make throughout the design process. I’m proud of our organization for getting in the game and taking a leadership role on this important topic.
Something else made me proud recently. The Chapter Leadership Conference this summer stressed the importance of investing in the next generation of ASID leaders. When members of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter returned home, they made a commitment of their own — to make decisions that reflect the urgency and importance of attracting students and emerging professionals to their chapter, and to ensuring they have access to the resources they need to connect with interior design. As a result, the chapter arranged for bus transportation to take students to the ASID Career Exchange and portfolio review at MetroCon in Dallas. It is touch points like these, with the Society and with the profession, that will help to build a strong future for all of us.
I encourage each of you, in your work and in your volunteer leadership, to continue to think of ways — big and small — to connect with ASID, to invest in our mutual future, and to get in the game.