Three IIDA board members. 10 IIDA HQ staff. 120+ Chapter leaders, presidents, and president-elects. This winter saw the biggest IIDA CLC turnout yet in its 20-year history. The two-day leaders conference kicked off February 6th in Chicago with a welcome reception at the Kimball Office showroom followed by a packed weekend of idea sharing and incubating, networking, and general catching up!
This winter’s CLC conference focused on advocacy, a call to action for interior designers to get the tools they need to advance the profession. Advocacy has been a hot topic as legislators throughout the country have been making key decisions that affect to what extent an interior designer can practice in his or her state (New York and Utah recently introduced two new interior design bills).
Emily Kluczynski, Director of Advocacy, Public Policy, and Legislative Affairs at IIDA HQ, played a huge role in preparing for this CLC conference. Through presentations from advocacy experts and fun breakout activities that used improv to help designers talk about what they do to the public and lawmakers, this winter’s CLC’s conference showed that advocacy isn’t so intimidating. Here, Emily talks about how the idea for an advocacy-themed conference came about and describes how it emphasized grassroots advocacy to harness the power of IIDA membership and truly make a difference in the Interior Design profession.
Why an advocacy theme?
Since IIDA branded itself as the member association for the commercial interior designer, I have aspired to elevate the level of advocacy knowledge and participation for all members. The very hardworking Advocacy Committee–IIDA VPs of Advocacy from each chapter board–has wanted to learn more and grow their skills in grassroots advocacy. Having an advocacy-themed CLC provided them with experts in that field as well as opportunities for them to learn from one another, while encouraging other chapter leaders to be supportive of advocacy work.
How did the theme guide the meeting’s agenda?
We gave a presentation on legislative initiatives throughout the country and introduced the IIDA Advocacy Advisory Council, a group of members who are leaders in advocacy and act as consultants for the International Board, Cheryl, and me in how best to engage members in being better advocates. On Saturday, the Council for Interior Design Qualification gave an update on recent happenings with the National Council on Interior Design Qualification. Amy Showalter of The Showalter Group, and an expert in the field of grassroots advocacy, presented to members. The day ended with a breakout session for the VPs of Advocacy on how to develop their “elevator speech.” The conference ended Sunday with an informative panel on the purpose and functions of state legislative coalitions.
What were the main goals and objectives?
To learn from one another and learn more about grassroots advocacy from experts in the field. Also, to have chapter leaders practice talking about what interior designers do to others. It doesn’t have to be scary talking to legislators and policymakers about interior design.
What would you say was the biggest takeaway from CLC?
Everyone can be an advocate for interior design. Remember that your story is important.
Be on the lookout for details about the next CLC conference this coming June during NeoCon! To learn more about advocacy and how to get involved, check out the new IIDA advocacy microsite. #IIDAadvocacy
Eva Maddox, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, began her lecture stating, “It all starts with hand drawing.”
Students look on nervously as they ponder whether they’ve strayed too far into the digital realm, while professors, staff, and design professionals in the room nod approvingly.
It’s Jan. 21, 2015, and IIDA Headquarters is at the Harrington College of Design with Maddox to learn about her experience as Principal of the Perkins+Will | Eva Maddox Branded Environments group based in Chicago.
Maddox joined the firm 12 years ago to push the existing Perkins+Will Branded Environments group forward, and since Maddox says it’s become a “living brand lab,” helping to devise and design new ways for clients to tell their stories and “find their way.”
Maddox always strives to “do design with meaning,” and with her team of specialists, she uniquely fuses brand research, brand positioning, and graphic design with Interior Design and architecture. Her group’s processes of creating space begins with “immersion,” moves into “visioning, strategy, concept, design, development, documentation,” and finally “build.”
Maddox uses several case studies during the presentation to represent these processes such as the Purina Conference Center Renovation + Expansion project which uses an old turkey farmhouse (an ode to their past) to tell the brand’s story. Inside the structure, the Purina checkerboard logo is carried throughout the spaces, spotlighting Purina artifacts and products.
Other projects Maddox narrated for the audience included dynamic spaces built for Knoll (this post’s header image), Nike, and the Lindner Center at the University of Cincinnati featuring a 5-story tall trophy case.
One of the more fascinating projects Eva narrates for the audience is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. The Intrepid story, as Maddox notes, is an emotional one due to the warfare and death toll the ship endured during its many years at sea. This made it crucial to Maddox and her team to understand and celebrate the brave men and women that served on the ship during World War II, Vietnam, and even 9/11 when the ship was one of only a few “safe harbors” where American planes could land during the attacks. Maddox and her team’s goal was to provide an emotional impact and string together spaces on the ship to tell a story – not to mention, turn an entire ship into a museum. Maddox divided the vessel into narrative categories, including the open-air hangar deck, to create a space, place, and experience throughout the entire ship.
Maddox wraps up the presentation dispensing industry insights to students in the audience and anticipates “what’s next” in design. Maddox specifically notes our age of “technological convergence,” explaining the impact technology and our rapid rate of change has on businesses and work environments.
Eva Maddox is the recipient of Chicago Magazine‘s 2002 Chicagoan of the Year and the 2000 IIDA Star Award, honoring her outstanding leadership and contribution to design. In 1999, Maddox was elected to the IIDA College of Fellows and in 1992, she was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
Images courtesy of: @perkinswill_CHI IIDA Northland Chapter
No, not that one percent. Not even close. In fact, quite the opposite.
Beautifully executed design shouldn’t be limited to tech start ups, trading firms, and luxury hotels. And, thankfully, it’s not. With programs like Public Architecture’s The 1%, public spaces that serve our communities can get in on the Frank Gehry action at a pro bono rate. Well, maybe not Frank Gehry but close.
Through The 1% program, nonprofits are connected to architecture and design firms willing to commit a minimum of one percent billable hours each year to create the spaces these organizations deserve. This year marks IIDA’s first year partnering with Public Architecture in support of The 1%, and we are proud to share with you the first case study in an ongoing series that highlights the work IIDA Members have done through the program.
Thanks to HOK Impact, a firm-wide program that seeks to positively impact and empower communities through pro bono design, HOK Los Angeles was able to create a reimagined Youth Center on Highland Avenue for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the LGBT community through multiple programs and initiatives. The Center had outgrown their Youth Drop-In Center and needed an efficient and energetic space targeted to providing foster care services for L.A.’s underserved LGBT youth.
The result? Colorful. The Center couldn’t afford upgraded finishes and sculptural elements so the design team turned to energetic and vibrant colors to create a hopeful space. “[The Youth Drop-In Center] isn’t a depressing place anymore; it is a place where our young clients are looking to their futures,” said Kathy Ketchum, chief administrative officer of the Center.
View the Youth Center on Highland project for yourself and get inspired. Hey – Mr. Gehry, are you listening?
There are the songs we associate with first loves, the songs we connect with our childhood, and the songs that remind us of the moments in our lives we thought we forgot. And then there the songs that take us somewhere – literally.
The Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways contains those songs. The album is a music travelogue that follows the Foo Fighters as they wrote and recorded their eighth studio album in eight famed recording studios in eight cities across the United States: Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl directed a companion piece leading to the record’s November 10th release, a documentary series of the same name that recorded the band’s experiences in each city and featured interviews with local music legends.
Grohl has described his Sonic Highways project as a “love letter to the history of American music.” It was birthed from a concept reflective of place, something Grohl sought to capture not just by recording in iconic studios but by waiting to write the lyrics to each song after experiencing each city and interviewing its people. Sonic Highways, at its heart, is about grounding the music in its surroundings.
Musicians using the built-in environment to inform their music isn’t new. “Songbird,” from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, was recorded in Zellerbach Auditorium on the UC Berkeley Campus to evoke a concert hall ambiance. And Kanye West has said that architecture inspired the less bass heavy, ”simple” songs on Yeezus. In an interview with the New York Times, West said, “I would go see actual Corbusier homes in real life and just talk about, you know, why did they design it? They did like, the biggest glass panes that had ever been done. Like I say, I’m a minimalist in a rapper’s body.”
What are the songs that take you somewhere? What are the songs that inspire the places you are designing?Image courtesy of BBCW
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.
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.
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!
- 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 Change; Life 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.