Fall is a beautiful season in my state of Colorado, decked out in vibrant blue skies and snow-capped mountains aflame with yellow aspen. Fall always energizes me and renews my sense of belonging to the design community. It’s a time when colleagues are pursuing strong finishes to their work year and design students are engaged in collaborative learning on their campuses.
I recently returned to Colorado from our ASID national board meeting in Washington, D.C. We celebrated the Society’s progress with our new partners, including those participating in the significant and exciting Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to develop ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design. We also discussed the upswing in our membership numbers and the fiscal stability we have as an organization.
We purposely dedicated a large portion of our time to discussing the importance of increasing our investment in our chapters and in our members — YOU.
We know the most critical element to membership engagement is the human touch. People connecting with people. Members connecting with members.
We don’t talk about it often, but one of the enormous values of ASID membership is being with others who share our love and passion for meaningful design. There’s a wonderful energy that comes from talking about design with others in and out of the field, getting different perspectives, bouncing ideas off one another, and developing new collaborations. That energy feeds and revitalizes us.
Our chapters offer many opportunities for such engagement. Expand your networks. Push your thinking farther. Rekindle that sense of belonging. Invite others. There are few things more rewarding than sharing design ideas and learning about your profession with others.
The Society’s goal is to engage YOU, whatever your career stage and wherever you’re located, using a variety of formats. You may not have time to attend a chapter event. So we are improving other forms of information delivery. Some channels will continue to be individualized and structured, such as online training; others will be digital, bite-sized and informal feeds — Twitter, for instance. Always there will be a focus on in-person contact through vital, forward-thinking outreach.
ASID offers a space to have dialogue that drives the future of the profession. A place where others understand your language, your excitement about design, your interest in doing it REALLY WELL, and the importance of managing the business as well as design aesthetics. Play, work and passion rolled into common, elective events.
As you develop new connections and memories, remember to put our emerging professionals and students to work. Twenty-one percent of the 57,000 interior designers nationwide are emerging professionals, and 21,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in interior design programs across the country. Nearly 4,600 graduates are expected to enter the workforce in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees or higher. These new designers are coming into the field eager for a strong community. They desire to make a real difference through design. They, too, want a place to talk about what they love: DESIGN. Continue to seek ways to attract them; encourage their sense of belonging; remind them that ASID truly needs their fresh ideas and leadership.
One of our seniors at Colorado State University recently said to me, “People are more interested in the power left on their iPhones than in the power within themselves.” I was struck by the simplicity and truth of her statement. Design is the common power between all of us and the clients and public we serve. We all have the ability to foster that power through our involvement with ASID.
Anyone who comes into contact with ASID feels our renewed energy. Your ASID is providing innovative programs and tools to make this year a success for you. So encourage your friends and colleagues to join us. And, if you can, please take a moment to drop Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, FASID, CID, LEED Fellow, and her board a big thank you for the exceptional leadership they offered our Society this past year. We are reaping incredible rewards from their hard work.
With warm regards,
Stephanie Clemons, Ph.D., FASID, FIDEC
ASID National Chair, Board of Directors