Call to Action

Recently, a friend sent me the link to the winning entry of the student video competition, “Why Interior Design Matters,” sponsored by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), and Interiors & Sources magazine. I give frequent presentations on the value of design and found the video to be a breath of fresh air. Its approach is fresh and creative, in a way that I have not seen before.

The winning team, Radford University interior design students Lory Marsocci, Anna Beydoun, Kelsey Keller, Kate Croy, and Lauren Reinhard used animation to put their point across. Their approach and their message change the game. Instead of promoting the value of design they focus on why interior designers matter. It tells the story of what interior designers do to improve people’s quality of life through research and education, and references design education as a way to prevent problems in the built environment. The video also focuses on the ability of interior designers to build successful businesses for their clients, by drawing customers in and improving consumer loyalty through branding, research, communication, and psychology (in other words, things interior designers do all the time).

The winning entry, “Why We Matter,” also points out the downside of a world without educated interior designers. “For example, a poorly designed workplace can make you likely to call in sick, or actually become sick, quit your job, or even worse, become an unproductive employee,” says the narrator. “This chain of events could snowball into the loss of the company, demise of the related organizations and partners of that company and more drastically causing the local economy and jobs to crumble.” While this may sound a bit dramatic, the thoughts resonate.

The video ends on a high note, stating that interior designers want to make a difference, “coming to the rescue”. It concludes with the team’s aspirations, “We fight to keep businesses in business. Great spaces, exceptional experiences and creative ideas can help mold a greater local, regional and global economy. That’s why we matter!”

Our profession has a bright future with smart design-thinkers like the Radford University team. I highly recommend viewing their impactful message about the value of design and why interior designers matter. Share it with your associates and clients; they will appreciate it.

Georgy Olivieri is the eastern region director of sustainability, architecture and design for Kimball® Office. She is co-author of the book Design Does Matter, and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and is a LEED accredited professional.

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