Right at Home: New Design Priorities

Personal style and freedom of expression are driving forces in today’s home design. Yet while beautiful, self-expressive homes are wonderful, interior designers and architects have a growing responsibility to create healthy, accessible, and environmentally sensitive spaces. How these design professionals address these issues will transform how tomorrow’s homes look and function.

To examine the twenty-first century American home, Herman Miller and Metropolis hosted a discussion at the New York Center for Architecture. Moderated by Metropolis editor in chief Susan S. Szenasy, the panel included industrial designer Yves Béhar; lighting designer Francesca Bettridge; interior design educator and architect Shashi Caan; ergonomist Bill Dowell; and universal design specialist Jane Langmuir. The evening began with a screening of Real Voices, a short documentary based on the work and lives of Herman Miller’s current design stars, including Bill Stumpf and Ayshe Birsel.

Metropolis asked panelists to prepare a brief statement that introduced their area of expertise and addressed the following question: In the twenty-first century, what needs to be done to ensure that homes are designed as healthy, accessible places for people of all ages?

Yves Béhar is the founder of the San Francisco-based design studio fuseproject. Béhar’s design strategy involves focusing on the emotional experience of the user and communicating it through storytelling.

Francesca Bettridge, President and Principal of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, contributes unique insight and creativity to her work. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with highly esteemed architects on award-winning national and international projects.

Shashi Caan heads the Shashi Caan Collective, an architecture and design practice that provides creative design solutions to a diverse clientele. She won the prestigious Interior Designer of the Year Award in 2004.

Bill Dowell is director of research at Herman Miller where he worked closely with Bill Stumpf and Donald Chadwick on the famously ergonomic Aeron chair.

Jane Langmuir is a specialist in universal design known for her work on the RISD Universal Kitchen among other projects.

To download the full transcript in PDF format, click here.

To download the Metropolis CE Participant Exercise for 0.2 credits, click here.

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