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IIDA’s Chapter Capture allows you to get to know our 33 Chapters from around the world as they discuss their Chapter make-up, upcoming initiatives, and what makes their IIDA Members unique. 

IIDA GA_Retreat at Interface

IIDA Georgia Board Retreat at Interface

This month, we highlight the IIDA Georgia Chapter. IIDA Georgia was IIDA’s 2013 Small Chapter of the Year and for good reason! The Chapter is involved both within the Georgia design community, as well as, the community at large. Chapter leadership works to create the b.o.b. Design Forum Awards Gala. The b.o.b. (Best of the Best) Forum Design Awards is the highest honor that the IIDA Georgia Chapter can bestow in recognition of design excellence and promotion of creativity.

The Chapter also upholds the tenet of “…increasing the quality of life through interior design…” by becoming involved with and seeking out design opportunities within the community. The Chapter took a concept created by SCAD students and committed to make the concept a reality for the Zaban Couples Center – a center dedicated to transitioning couples out of homelessness into independent living.

IIDA Georgia, Dressed Fashion Show

IIDA Georgia, Dressed Fashion Show

With so many projects and events going on, the IIDA Georgia Chapter remains active throughout the state via their City Centers located in Atlanta, Savannah, and Augusta. The Chapter is comprised of both young ans seasoned professionals representing a variety of backgrounds, firms, and manufacturers. To connect with IIDA Georgia, visit them at their website, and join this growing, vibrant, and active Chapter!

Upcoming Programming

  • CEU Double Feature: Workplace Issues and Healthcare
  • Industry Exchange
  • Holiday Parties in Atlanta, Savannah, and Augusta
  • CEU: Pinterest and the A & D Community
  • b.o.b. Design Forum Awards Gala
  • Membership Appreciation Events


At the Chicago Humanities Festival lecture series JOURNEYS, sponsored and underwritten by IIDA Industry Member, Herman Miller, the co-founder of the Massive Change Network, Bruce Mau, was invited to lecture on the power of design to bring positive, holistic change on a global scale.

Growing up in “Gutenberg type times,” Mau iterated how it’s now much easier to connect with others than it was 30-35 years ago when connecting and finding people was infinitely more difficult. However, Mau said that today’s challenge is how we pursue people and information, especially with American society built around increasingly small moments – “millisecond moments,” he deemed them – that align with our short-term focused economy. As an alternative, Mau suggested, we need long-term thinking.

The Massive Change designer also delved into our accessible, transparent world where we can always “see behind the image,” making everything visible; therefore making it necessary for everything to be designed. Mau elaborated that enterprises, both small and large, should respect this transparency by focusing their efforts on how people wish to live. The key to this, Mau said, is the designer –  the ones who can tell the story and connect the dots. This ability makes designers very valuable and necessary for them “to be in the board room.”

Mau finished the lecture by focusing on America, a country “built on freedom and dreams.” Mau observed that Americans always have dreams or something they always want to do, and noted that this is not the case in other countries where violence, poverty, and destruction are at the fore-front. Mau urged the audience to embrace their American right to freedom, and to reinsert it in our society by not looking left or right, but instead “look forward or backward.”

Since his Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Massive Change, Mau has pushed the boundaries of design. Expanding on his early work focused on branding, Mau charted his own path within environment-based design, and how design can make the world a better place. Bruce Mau is the author and designer of several award-winning books, including Massive ChangeLife Style; and S, M, L, XL (in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas), as well as the widely shared Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University.




IA Interior Architects recently interviewed International President of IIDA Julio Braga, IIDA, LEED AP, for an informal chat about what he’s been doing to push IIDA as the go-to professional association that supports Commercial interior designers. Braga’s tenure since assuming the position back in June has already seen the Association taking active steps in dedicating itself to being a community of experts in workplace design, an increased involvement with standard setting organizations such as CIDA and NCIDQ, and a vested interest in the value of design through thoughtful panel discussions and engaging Member participation in advocacy efforts. There’s no doubt that Braga has taken the president role to new heights and IIDA in an exciting and innovative direction.

But perhaps the biggest undertaking for Braga – and IIDA – is furthering IIDA’s international goals. Expanding IIDA’s international presence is of particular importance for him.

“I’m interested in how the practice of design runs in other parts of the world, and our connection with professionals beyond the U.S.,” said Braga in the interview. “A majority of our members are American, but this is important because not only is the economy globalizing, but so is the way professionals carry out design.”

IIDA has already begun making strides in reaching out to its international Members beyond international design competitions with this year’s first IIDA event for the Milan Chapter, a day-long discussion about the business of design, as well as the announcement of Milanese architect and designer, Federico Delrosso, IIDA, as Inaugural Member of the IIDA President’s Council in August.

Braga, who is a Principal at IA, also shared his insight on how working with IIDA hasn’t just been a vital professional resource but a way to give back to the design community while making fast friends.

Read more about Braga’s interview with IA on dIAmeter, IA’s official blog.

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What Clients Want, Vol. 2 is the second in the popular IIDA book series, What Clients Want. The second volume departs from the first by focusing solely on hotel design. Sixteen projects were chosen from around the world, and each project features commentary from both the client and the designer. Included are client responses from CEOs, hoteliers, developers, and operators of five-star and boutique properties including Hilton Worldwide, Firmdale Group, Starwood Capital, Langham, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the Fasano brand, to name a few.

What Clients Wants Volume 2 will take the reader on a journey from historical hotels to modern, sleek hotels with personalized services; and while the landscapes and interiors may change, the constant throughout is good design that responds to the end-user’s needs and wants.

The IIDA Foundation has generously provided funding with additional support from 3M Architectural Markets Division. 3M Architectural Markets General Manager Maureen Tholen contributed the book’s introduction, providing insight into 3M’s rich history of hospitality innovation, and the book cover itself is constructed from 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes (printed pattern PS-503).

The series was written by Melissa Feldman whose editorial work has appeared in Architectural Digest,, New York Post, and Contract magazine.

Secure your copy today by filling out this order form. As always, IIDA Members, will receive a complimentary copy.

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Since 1989 the IIDA Leaders Breakfast is a long-standing, celebrated event in which IIDA host cities bring together Interior Designers, clients, manufacturers, and community leaders for an inspiring morning.  Each of the the nine host cities chooses a keynote speaker, as well as, a Leadership Award of Excellence honoree.  Herman Miller has graciously bestowed a gift upon each city’s honoree in the form of the iconic Eames plywood splint. As there are now a limited number of splints, Herman Miller has unveiled a new gift to honorees. 

Image courtesy of Herman Miller

Exclusive only to Leaders Breakfast honoree recipients, the award is a special icon of modern design that is attributed to the legacy of Charles and Ray Eames. This special edition stool is made from sustainable ash stained in a signature translucent aniline red, a favorite color of the Eameses. In addition to the special edition of the stool, honorees will also receive a specialty book on the history of the stool, and a framed print of the stool from the Herman Miller design archives.

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A recent Huffington Post Blog entry challenged the legitimacy of the Interior Design profession, in particular the “arbitrary” legislative efforts to regulate it. Unfortunately for the industry and our members, once again the practice of interior design was confused with interior decorating.

The blog post opens, “Homeowners hire interior designers to beautify their living space. It’s an industry focused on style, design, and aesthetics.” This prevailing market misconception of interior designers as merely “decorators” or purveyors of home design secrets and tips makes it all the more important for IIDA, its Members, and the design community at large to educate the general public on what professional interior design really is, and in doing so, advocate for legal recognition of the field.

Interior designers must be highly skilled in order to create interior environments that are functional, safe, and adhere to building codes, regulations, and ADA requirements. They go beyond the selection of color palettes and furnishings and apply their knowledge to the development of construction documents, occupancy loads, healthcare regulations, and sustainable design principles, as well as the management and coordination of professional services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety – all to ensure that people can work, live, and learn in an innocuous environment that is also aesthetically pleasing.

We know this. But, we – IIDA, our Members, and interior designers – must continue to educate the public at large so we can dispel this misconception once and for all.

For more information to share with your clients, peers, and friends on the differences between interior design and interior decorating, please visit the National Council for Interior Design Qualification or this excerpt from the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice on Interior Design.