In the years since “sustainability” and “green building” have entered the
American lexicon, meeting higher social, economic, and environmental goals
has become the norm for the industry. “Sustainability initiatives have been
used for a long time now because it’s just the right thing to do,” explained
Krantz. “But what we’re seeing is this shift in that government is now driving
the majority of green initiatives in new developments.”
Of the design disciplines, recent studies have shown that government and
education have the highest amount of sustainability elements in them, often influ-
enced by local ordinances, while corporations are looking more closely at green
practices to satisfy their corporate responsibility policies. Conversely, entertainment
and retail have made less of a shift towards green building because, Krantz
explained, “consumers aren’t asking how green the design of a movie theatre is.”
With more than 40% of healthcare, hospitality, office, education, and govern-
ment projects having used sustainable technologies in the last year, firms who
haven’t already done so, need to focus on keeping up-to-date with emerging
sustainability techniques and understand how incorporating green practices into
their designs can be a positive influence on their bids.Additionally, Krantz sug-
gested becoming familiar with energy optimization: “Energy optimization is identi-
fied as the number two most transformative and fastest moving trend in this cat-
egory. It’s a technical expertise that designers can study up on, know about it,
and bring to their clients.” Completing CEU training in energy optimization would
add a competitive edge for firms approaching more green-focused clients.
“Urbanization is a trend we’re seeing globally,” said Krantz. “The number of
workers that are on farms have been going down steadily, and for the last 15
years, we’ve seen the population of cities increase.”
One cause: millennials. As this new generation enters the workforce, they’re
choosing to live in urban populations, rather than commute from the suburbs as
their parents did. The result is a change in lifestyle as urban densities increase,
which has implications for designers who need to adapt to accommodate the
ways in which millennials are occupying space. “A lot of young folks are living in
a variety of spaces. The coffee shop down the street might become their living
room, in a way, and the park becomes their backyard. Their home, then, is pretty
much there for sleeping and not much else,” he said.
The impact of this new form of utilizing space creates an interesting challenge
for designers who find themselves designing more often for mixed-use buildings
that incorporate a variety of tenants and public uses to accommodate the
way that millennials live. “It’s a growing market,” explained Krantz. “You may
be designing for a space that mixes office, retail, recreation, and hospitality.
If you’ve got a large mixed-use building, you’re designing in a different way.
You’re designing to create community.”
Designers working in urban spaces could find themselves at an advantage
by focusing on how to create communities and cohesive communal space for
potential clients who are looking to lease their spaces to a blend of occupants.
As the ease of travel and communication across countries has expanded,
the ability for designers to work internationally has increased. No longer are
designers locked into a portion of the globe, allowing a greater participation
in the international market. “What we’ve found—and the biggest thing I’ve
noticed—is the increase in international practice and competition,” said
Krantz. “As U.S. design firms are opening and competing overseas, there’s
a demand for U.S. design talent.
“Explore potential business. Look at partnerships too,” he suggested.
“You don’t want to walk into that kind of situation without being able to
communicate and translate effectively. But it’s an exciting area of growth.”
Larger firms with a strong grasp of their market should know that the
desire for American designers is growing, leading to new opportunities in
expanding their brand beyond domestic design.
Defined as “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and
more successfully adapt to adverse events,” resiliency is a necessary agent
for designers in an ever-changing and fast-paced environment. The ASID
State of the Industry report noted, “At this stage of resiliency’s maturity as
a design trend, it takes visionary design leaders to see past the bottom line
and onto the horizon where resiliency is a key to enhancing quality of life.”
“What you’re doing is building through a variety of phases, including how
it may perform during or after some sort of emergency or human catastrophe,”
Krantz explained. “You have to look holistically at the aspects of a space, the
materials you use, and how that space can be adaptable.”
By understanding the current and potential future needs of the space, and
how all aspects of the design come together, a designer is able to present the
client with a more impactful collaboration, which adds value to their property,
and advances the interior design profession as a whole.
➤ continued from page 18
HIGHER SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS
One of the most transformative trends affecting interior design now and for at least the next few years, is the rising
bar of sustainability standards. The USGBC is currently rolling out updated standards,
7 LEED v4, that will require
architects, interior designers, and even property managers responsible for building performance to further minimize
8 But the certification bodies and typical sustainability advocates aren’t the only ones raising the bar. Policies at all levels of government are being put into place that require higher sustainability standards
than ever before, often requiring Energy Star, LEED Silver, or better for all new construction contracts. Government
regulations and enforcement on water usage is raising the sustainability bar in California, and may lead to improved
performance in other states. Compared to other types of development, government-funded projects appear to be
leading the way on the application of sustainable interior design practices.
SUSTAINABILITY SUB-TREND ANALYSIS
GOVERNMENT STANDARDS ARE DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY IN PRACTICE
(Source: ASID survey, March 2015)
Q: IN WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR PROJECTS IN THE PAST QUARTER (JANUARY - MARCH 2015)
HAS YOUR CLIENT EITHER AGREED TO OR ASKED YOU TO EMPLOY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN?
7ASID Think Tank, May 6, 2015
The idea behind biomimicry design is that we can model our built environment on examples from n
this way solve our most perplexing design challenges. Although some cutting edge designers are pu
lope in this field with a few established models, commercial and residential designers aren’t seeing
much, if at all.
This sub-trend was identified during the ASID Think Tank Challenge as one of the top five most tran
across all categories. Interior designers are seeing increased utilization of ‘smart’ building systems t
previously disparate mechanical and electrical systems. As the cost for these systems has gone dow
ronmental footprint mitigation moves toward performance based metrics and constant monitoring,
reporting a proportionate uptake of energy optimization approaches across project types. “While mo
commercial space don’t control the base building mechanical systems, they do control the project’s
and those are now supremely efficient.” says Ken Wilson of Perkins & Will. “With leases increasingl
tenants pays for their own energy use – they are seeing a great benefit. Who would have thought th
design a private office intensive high end law firm with a fully connected lighting load of 0.68 watts
I am confident that the energy efficiency trend will continue and I have no doubt that codes will soo
The idea behind this sub-trend is that manufacturers are disclosing the origin of materials that go in
ucts. Similar to standardized food labels and certification schemes for organic, fair trade, buy-local,
materials transparency gives power to consumers (or designers who specify product) to reduce env
impacts. But while governments and ‘green’ advocates are raising sustainability standards for new
remodeling projects, consumers of home products seem to be less concerned. According to Greg D
a consumer goods trends researcher and member of the ASID Think Tank, “the buy-local moveme
market of home decor products just hasn’t caught on, with the exception of DIYers, there is little de
public for transparency in materials sourcing.” The complexity of global supply chains and clear co
may be slowing this sub-trend down.
I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY TREN
WILL CONTINUE AND I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT CODES
WILL SOON BECOME EVEN MORE STRINGENT.
TREND ADOPTION CURVE: RESULTS FROM
THINK TANK & ASID SURVEY
Resiliency is a new trend that has not advanced to the point where associated terms resonate well with all designers.
Residential designers in particular found a need for more information on Support for Daily Stress in relation to Resiliency.
Commercial designers placed Support for Daily Stress near the top of the curve for Resiliency, while the same trend was
placed at the bottom of the curve in the context of Health and Well-being, suggesting that the adoption of trends may be
relative to the context in which they are interpreted. Commercial designers working on larger projects and viewing design
from a broader perspective identified the sub-trends as finding their way towards healthy integration.
SUB-TREND COLOR KE Y
The Think Tank identified the least to most
important elements of the Resiliency macro-trend
amongst both residential (red) and commercial