Designers need more information
Panel ask suppliers to provide indepth product info.
Suppliers in the walls and flooring industry need to provide more information on their products according to a panel of interior designers at this year's APID Walls and Floors Forum. Speaking on the topic of Education and Training in Interior Design, the panel, made up of four interior designers, said the amount of new materials being used made it difficult for interior designers to know how to use them.
"We need suppliers to give more information on new products and materials, especially with relation to special requirements for installation, regulations they adhere to and how sustainable they are," said Stephanie Backhouse, senior interior designer KCA International.
The panelists also agreed that the sustainability of products should be something interior designers look at when choosing materials. "Sustainability is very important today. We as interior designers must all be aware of such things as the composition of materials and the type of glue that is used and how environmentally friendly they are. If we all looked at this and chose accordingly it would make a big difference," added Backhouse.
The rapid increase in the types of materials used by suppliers does have its benefits though according to the panelists, who pointed to the greater diversity in designs and patterns as a result. "The mixes of materials makes patterns more diverse, with the use of metallic materials for example. We are seeing a lot of 3D designs emerging and other patterns are being created that you wouldn't have seen even a year ago," said Isabel Pintado, interior designer, Godwin Austen Johnson.
The panelists also agreed that internships during interior design students' degree programmes were vital to give them a sense of the industry and to provide them with hands on training to supplement their academic and theoretical studies.