On a particularly bad stretch of days last year, my dad gave me a piece of advice I’ve held on to: “All we can do is use
what we have for the best possible good.”
That day, the article “And On That Note” was
born and in the year that has followed the i+s
team has been fortunate enough to learn the
many ways in which our industry is doing good
deeds. The theme of this issue revolves around
that: what the manufacturers and designers we
interact with every day are doing behind the
scenes for the greater good.
I believe the design industry is positioned
to make large-scale changes in our society
and world. As of July 2017, the Environmental
Protection Agency stated that Americans spend
93 percent of their lives indoors: 87 percent
in buildings and another 6 percent in vehicles,
leaving only a measly 7 percent of our lives
spent outside. However, unless you’ve managed
to spend time “off the grid” and out of civilization,
you’re still surrounded by things that are designed:
architecture, signage, even parks and other
sorts of sanctuaries.
Spending a majority of our lives surrounded
by design means the choices designers make
affect every person no matter what. That’s a lot of
power for the industry. Can you imagine if every
manufacturer of designed goods discontinued
wasteful practices or interior designers only
specified from companies that use solar energy
or recycled materials? The built environment
would make our society healthier as a whole,
whether or not we were collectively leaning
toward more sustainable practices.
That is, of course, a pie-in-the-sky hope, but
what we can do right now is use what we have
to promote “the best possible good.”
For me, that looks like networking and providing
my insight to others, particularly students in
K- 12 and up to recent college graduates.
People tend to know that working with others
is a passion of mine, but what you may not
know is that it’s my way of paying it forward.
When I was a recent graduate in San Francisco
more than a decade ago, Douglas Booth and Gary
Nichols of NicholsBooth (now Revel) provided me
with the best possible first job experience in the
industry. They assigned to me a broad range of
projects from drafting to marketing. They often
asked me what I wanted to do with my life and told
me about the choices they made to further their
careers. Most of all they trusted my ability to do my
job and walked me through any mistakes I made.
I left my position at NicholsBooth despite the
fact that I loved going to work every day. My leaders
there helped me understand where my passions
truly lie. They may not even remember me or what
they did for a confused and super-emotional 22
year old but it made such a difference. If I could
give even a portion of that experience to others it’ll
be worth every hard day between then and now.
Through the pages of i+s we always strive
to deliver the idea that the seemingly inconse-
quential can make a significant difference to
the industry or even society as a whole. Yet this
issue is special: The focus is on what design is
doing right now to make a change. In “It’s Worth
the Trouble” (Profile, p. 42), we take a look at
Jason F. McLennan’s career of setting standards
for the design industry. In addition, in IIDA’s
contribution, “Diversity Isn’t a Dirty Word,” (p. 48)
Cheryl Durst discusses how companies can
recruit more diverse talent.
We hope what you will take from this issue
is the idea that we can all do “the best possible
good” with what we have.
Kadie Yale | Editor-in-Chief
Doing ‘The Best
interiors+sources® is dedicated to the advancement of the commercial interior design profession. It connects design professionals
with the projects, products, firms, and associations that shape the built environment and promotes the value of design services in the
creation of functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing environments. Each issue delivers relevant and timely information that
equips design practitioners with the knowledge and tools necessary to reach design excellence in their own practices. Editorial ideas and
contributions are welcome from all members of the design industry.