officeinsight: Random Walks
7.15.12 | It doesn’t take an outsider to point out that the incessant chatter in the A&D and contract furniture communities about innovation more evidences a subliminal craving for it than a description of an existential phenomena. Painting and constructing 3D backdrops for human activities and tools may create a fleeting impression of novelty (aka “innovation”), but it hardly serves to do much more than enable us to tolerate what would otherwise be the unbearable tedium of the office landscape.
4.16.12 | Does the contract furniture distribution model inhibit innovation in the industry because some contract furniture manufacturers restrict their aligned dealerships from selling certain “competitor” products? This is not a very thoughtful question, placing, as it does, a tactical problem in a strategic context. Surely, the market doesn’t always welcome “innovation,” especially when new products simply don’t add meaningful differentiating value to the market. But, this in turn, spurs innovation in other directions, such as new types of products and new means of distribution.
Random Walk >>
3.25.12 | Design competitions and awards are not only good, they are essential to the development of the interior design profession. The reason is quite simple. They are one of the few conduits through which the general public, and especially consumers, can access and begin to understand interior design. With this in mind, we must ask whether the present successful programs could be better adapted to achieve this greater purpose.
11.27.11 | In the 11.14.11 issue of officeinsight, in Part 1 of this article, we began describing the IIDEX/NeoCon Canada 2011 presentation, Creating Healthier Environments Through Active Design by Karen Lee, MD, and Gayle Nicoll, Ph.D. In this Part 2, we will cover Dr. Nicoll’s description of some of the developed strategies that address current health problems attributable, in part, to the built environment, and particularly the interiors. In considering the interplay that resulted in the study of the relationship between health and safety and the built environment, most of the research has been done by health professionals. A fundamental question for architecture and design education and practice is “How ready and receptive are these professions to following and implementing this type of knowledge?”
11.14.11 | The built environment was created to intervene in otherwise prevailing and threatening circumstances, natural or man made. It is an act of audacious ignorance, however, to assume that our built environment would not bear its own potential hazards. Now, through the illuminating work of Karen Lee, MD, and Gayle Nicoll, Ph.D., we can see that the environment in which we live and the environments that we design are key determinants of the health conditions and the health epidemics that affect us.
8.8.11 | Beauty is but a specific example of what we might consider design’s most powerful weapon: emotional arousal . . . or not. To be truly effective, design professionals must consider, not just what arouses them, but what arouses a particular client. (Again, this is what is wrong with the beauty contests of the interior design awards and trade publishing programs.)
7.25.11 | The interior design industry may well know how to communicate within the industry, but it is not so adept at the more important task of effectively communicating with the general public and sectors within it. To do this, it has to get a much better understanding of how the general public and clients view the world and, in particular, interior design.
4.18.11 | The airwaves are carrying wisps of a renewal of discussions between IIDA and ASID about the possibility of a merger. Here’s a challenge: we throw down the gauntlet to all interior designers: Design Your Profession . . . and start by designing a new unified professional organization. If you don’t, someone will do it for you, for example, architects and the Interior Design Protective council.
3.28.11 | Thinking about the substance of a webcast panel organized by Steelcase, with Jim Keane, Roger Martin and Daniel Pink, as panelists, it occurred to me that the answer to elevating the importance of creative thinking and “Design” in business is not sending analytics to Asia, as suggested by Mr. Pink. It lies in studying how these two approaches and capabilities can be most effectively integrated and used.
Some Thoughts on the IFI DFIE Declaration
3.14.11 | The IFI DFIE INTERIORS Declaration is an interesting tapestry of what the profession is and what it aims to be. An obvious question is, “To what extent do my developing views on the definition of “interior design” accord with those expressed in the Declaration?