designed for patients and caregivers, accord
showcases refined aesthetics and fearless
engineering for unparalleled function, elegance,
safety and comfort.
introducing a c c o r d™ the recliner for everyone
For a young student, four or five years can seem like a long time to attain a degree in interior design. For those of us who teach design, however, there is never enough time to cover all the things we want students to know in order to fully prepare them for a career
in interior design. One of the areas that receives less than full attention is the
business of design.
We spend a lot of time on design and its process, and less time on running
a design business and dealing with people and issues that come up during
projects. All CIDA-accredited programs include a professional practice class
that covers topics like basic procedures, contracts, professional standards
and ethics, and business models. To supplement that course, either through
their departments or student chapters, schools often will bring in guest
speakers, hold special events, and take students on firm tours to acquaint
them with the business side of design. In our program at Colorado State
University—Fort Collins, we have become
more conscientious of instilling a business
mindset in all of our courses, impressing
on students the practicalities of designing
in a firm, such as accounting for billable
hours and developing interpersonal skills
like team building and conflict management.
Internships are another way for students to
gain valuable business experience.
Still, we regularly hear from firms and alumni that they wish new graduates
had a more thorough understanding of design business and the workaday
world of interior design. Several years ago, in conjunction with Syracuse
University, ASID conducted surveys of firm owners to find out what skills and
qualities they looked for when hiring new graduates. Owners frequently men-
Building knowledge of the profession helps designers grow their businesses.