We’ve heard business issues coming in from a lot of different angles this month, but one topic I’ve personally been thinking a lot about is ethics. Whether someone is creating scalable business models, designing for the bottom line, dreaming up
killer marketing strategies, or working down to the essence of a brand (all of which you’ll find
throughout the issue), ethics is a silent undercurrent guiding decisions along each path.
That current grows a little louder with topics like developing products to safeguard human
health or protecting our industry from IP theft (also in this issue), but the ethics conversation still
lacks a truly coherent voice. It is easy to assume the ethical standards we hold are the same
ones governing our peers. But like the elephant of political divide that sits down to so many
Thanksgiving dinner tables, so sits the misalignment of principles at the conference table.
Often, ethics only becomes a topic when ethics are breached. And often, too, it is our
unspoken personal sense of morals—not a blanket policy statement or set of company guidelines—that decides when a breach has occurred. It is the conscience so inherent it becomes
subconscious, and we forget to discuss it with each other until absolutely necessary.
Externalizing those ideas and putting words to them can help define our values not only
for ourselves but for our colleagues, partners, vendors, and customers. And as journalists,
on some level it is our duty to put words to these personal ethics as we uncover them in our
reporting. Ask a real question, or muse over a tough topic, however, and suddenly the bylines
disappear, sources dry up, quotes get whitewashed. We hear “My company would never let
me say that,” and “It’s not a conversation that reflects our brand.” And so the conversations
remain whispered at tables, or spilled over one too many drinks.
In the great, internal, ethical debate, when does professional decorum trump professional
integrity? And when does integrity warrant an unseemly response? Or rather, what’s more
unseemly: wavering on matters of principle, or keeping up the act? That is a question for you.
The question we ask ourselves is: Does this information add benefit to the reader, or to
By congratulating the great work of people in A+D, we hope to be a small bit of gravity
pulling in the tide to raise all boats in the field. But only when that praise is genuinely warranted
are we doing the industry genuine good. Recently we have struggled to communicate this
effectively as an organization to those who—intentionally or not—wish to undermine our core
priority above all: to disseminate fair, accurate, and trustworthy information.
We all know bullies bully, liars lie, cheaters cheat. Dealing with them is just another day on
the job, whatever your profession. But as journalists reporting on an industry, we have
a responsibility to identify the systemic issues when we see them, begin the definition
process, disseminate the message, and hope to spark a louder public dialogue that will begin
to address and change these issues.
We hope you will join us.
Erika Templeton | Editorial Director
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.
See what else Interiors & Sources has been up
to this past month at
More scenes from
Grand Rapids, Mich.:
getting a history lesson
at American Seating;
and getting jealous of
the ultra-residential Via
Design offices, where
Cleo cabinets have set
Mood Board | Editorial
On a recent road trip to
Michigan, Account Executive
Laura Vorwald took Grand
Rapids by storm with
these sweet new kicks.
AnnMarie Martin spoke
on Coverings’ “Getting
Published” panel, holding
it down for trade
magazines on April 16.
Art Director Kim
Barbrie’s wrist is
back in action—and
getting right to work!
Gawking at the ceiling of the
Russell Senate Office Building
in Washington, D.C., during
ASID’s first-ever “Hill Day,”
part of their 2015 Legislative