Future of design
Seeing the value in the work of interior designers is essential to future of industry.
Although the future of design was the theme of this month's Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID) conference, the real heart of the matter lay in the value of design.
Keynote speaker, Peter Zec, president of Red Dot - famous for its awards - spoke about how quality should come first, but acknowledged that it was a tough demand in an environment where time and cost frequently dominate a project plan.
He also spoke about a concept he called 'return on ideas'. Built on the concept of return on investment, he encouraged designers of all types to think about and recognise the value of their original ideas.
Others, among them president of APID Kenneth Laidler and Hazem El Khatib of Design Design, spoke with passion about what interior designers could look to achieve as the profession develops in the region. As an organisation APID has set out to promote high professional standards, both to its members and the wide range of potential clients. It also wants to be in a position to raise standards, whether of safety, sustainability or copyright.
This last point brings us back to original ideas, and their value. When debate at the conference turned to the question of original designs - particularly of manufactured goods - and the use of knock-off versions in some projects, reaction was strong. It appeared that manufacturers, especially those from Europe, have a clear understanding of the value of a design. So do the APID members that specify these products. However, everyone seemed to acknowledge that there was education work to be done to share this view with a wider audience.
Stuart Matthews is the senior group editor of ITP Publishing's business magazines.