The $60 Billion Question

What drives growth in the design industry?

What’s driving the $60 billion dollar interior design industry? In September, I posed this question at ASID’s first annual State of the Industry Address, held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This was an exciting day for the interior design community as we looked back on a year of gained momentum. We can now confidently look forward to a continued industry growth, new opportunities to elevate interior design, and new ways to demonstrate the profession’s role as well as its importance to the economy. At the American Society of Interior Designers we have kept a watchful eye on how our industry has been performing in the post-recession economy.  After a gloomy 2010 and an erratic 2011 affected by concerns about the Eurozone economy, stalemates in Congress over our national budget, and a rash of natural disasters that deflated client confidence, our industry has sustained positive, although modest, growth over the past ten months. A growth that’s trending above the major building and architecture indexes.  Current forecasts indicate that growth will continue into the first half of next year. Overall, this industry growth has come with some costs.  Firms have downsized. Designers are doing more with less – and often, for less.  As the industry continues to adapt to the “new normal,” we can expect more change.  Old models of doing business will need to be reexamined. New knowledge will need to be mastered.  Greater demand for design services will generate more, and perhaps unexpected, competition. These realities make it imperative that our profession engages in a continued dialogue about the state of our industry and the challenges and opportunities we face. As we embark on this important discussion, we want to hear from you. We need you to tell us what additional information would be helpful to you. My next post will focus on some of the specifics of our report, the impact of interior design on people’s lives and the greater economy. Until then, I encourage you to watch a short message we recorded about our findings, in the video below, or visit our website obtain a copy of the report.

ASID 2012 State of the Industry Address from ASID on Vimeo.

Randy Fiser is the executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers, based in Washington DC.

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