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2011 Year in Review

1.16.12 | It was a good year, right? Perhaps not a great year, as we in this industry have known it, but, sequentially, quite a good year for the those creating interior environments. Employment, one of the key drivers in the interiors economy, has been spotty, yet pent up demand and the every-changing workplace has cut the purse strings, freeing some of the stored profits of major corporations, all to our benefit. Organizations are even more focused on productivity and related efficiencies, causing workplace redesign and furnishing as they pursue more effective use of their real estate, having lived through the second traumatic recession in a decade. At the same time, the scattered rays of economic sunlight have turned organizational minds toward staffing needs and the twin demands of retention and recruitment.

So, for many it was back to making hay, putting aside the difficult tasks of redesigning their business to correct the shortcomings that are so easily swept beneath the carpet during the good times.

Here is a glancing overview of the events that we covered last year.

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A Visit To Orfield Labs

12.19.11 | I have never returned from an Orfield event without the feeling of having my eyes re-opened. I call it the Applied Brilliance for the Built Environment. The Lutron-sponsored two-day program, User Experience Across Multiple Building Types, was the latest for the Open Plan Working Group and the recently created Architectural Research Consortium. Interestingly, although Orfield’s focus is on user experience and its relationship to building performance, a fair amount of the discussion dealt with the experience of clients with architects and designers as they, the clients, try to markedly and systematically improve building performance and user (referring to the ultimate user) experience.

A&D Firms >>, Events >>, Project >>

Research Design Connections: 2011 Livable Buildings Awards

12.19.11 | The Center for the Built Environment at the University of California Berkeley conferred its 2011 Livable Buildings Award on the Enermodal Engineering Headquarters building (Robertson Simmons Architects Inc.) in Kitchener, Ontario. The Kresge Foundation Headquarters and the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences won honorable mentions in this contest. The Livable Buildings Awards “showcase buildings that excel in design, operation, and occupant satisfaction.” The 2011 projects singled out for recognition were described as “projects [that] meet the highest standards for providing healthy and productive indoor environments, and also represent best practices for sustainability and overall design.”

A&D Firms >>, Environment >>, Events >>, RD Connections >>

Teknion’s Applied Brilliance: The Future of Imagination

12.12.11 | The pleasuring of our cultured sensibilities is becoming a Teknion trademark, as it once again brought to a local audience a taste of Deborah Patton’s popular and stimulating Applied Brilliance conference.

Events >>

Toronto IIDA Leaders Breakfast 2011

12.12.11 | IIDA Leaders Breakfasts in Toronto took place for the first time at our newest five-star hotel, the impressive (wit, elegance and a hint of glitz without going over the top) 53-storey Ritz-Carlton. The honoree was Susan Wiggins (See officeinsight June 10, 2010), executive director, Interior Designers of Canada. Janice Price, President and CEO, Luminato, was keynote speaker.

A&D Firms >>, Events >>, Prof. Associations >>

2011 Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame

12.5.11 | It is a changed world in many ways, but one constant is the desire to occasionally dress up, celebrate and greet old friends, and a few new ones to boot. The interiors world has a nice tradition for this as we kick off the holiday season and let go just a little as the year-end approaches: the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame. Now in its 27th year, the HoF serves as an anchor to enable us to better see time march on in an industry that is undergoing many sea changes.

A&D Firms >>, Competitions and Awards >>, Events >>, People >>

MMPI is Committed To The NeoCon Shows

11.14.11 | We know that this industry practically lives by its rumors, most of which prove to have little merit despite the odd grain of truth. In any event, Mark Falanga, Ph.D., Chris Kennedy’s successor as president, of the Merchandise Mart Properties was prompted to rebut the rampant buzz about a possible sale of the Merchandise Mart by publishing a letter expressing MMPI’s unwavering commitment to the NeoCon shows.

Companies >>, Events >>

NeoCon East 2011

11.8.11 | NeoCon East 2011, held last week (November 2-3), was once just another regional NeoCon, but is now a contract design focal event for the Mid-Atlantic A&D community and those dealing with the federal government. This was year nine for the event, which began in NYC and then moved by the Merchandise Mart to the Baltimore Convention Center in an astute play to help the show gain an identity and serve multiple purposes.

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NeoCon East 2011 Preview

10.24.11 | NeoCon East, now in its ninth year, will feature more than 250 exhibitors, more than 35 CEU-accredited programs, and the opportunity to network with more than 7,500 industry professionals from both the federal government and public sectors. The show is now in its 9th year and during that time has firmly established itself as the premier design exposition and conference for the East Coast A&D community, with a special focus on showcasing products on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule.

A&D Firms >>, Companies >>, Events >>, Product >>

POW! 2011 IIDA Color Invasion

10.24.11 | What is design but a series of interrelated networks? For a people-focused industry like ours, one’s network is literally one’s lifeline. Like any other system of connections, a social network needs to be maintained and cultivated in order to continue to be relevant and vital to its respective community. Top on the list of mandatory events for design professionals in NYC looking to expand their network and renew old contacts is the IIDA Color Invasion, the tenth occasion of which was held last week.

A&D Firms >>, Events >>

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