Kwalu does elegant, comfortable and versatile exceptionally
well. We offer lounge collections, accent seating options,
beautiful benches and an array of occasional tables to fit all
room sizes and decors. Of course, we have a wide selection of
finishes and colors, all designed to help you create captivating
common areas. All, Designed to Last®.
office and the first overseas. The expansion was an immediate success, and soon
we were being asked to design everything from hotels to office towers, while also
developing master plans. However, in mid-2015, the Chinese economy began
to falter and eventually tanked. Our Chinese clients started to make investments
in California but hit a few roadblocks, including a big one called the Foreign
Investment in Real Property Act (FIRPTA).
Since the 1980s, the FIRPTA has hampered investments in construction projects
in the U.S. ASID realized that a revision to this law would expand commercial real
estate investment across the nation—and cash-rich foreign developers would need
interior designers to design their new office towers, apartments, condos, and hotels.
So, ASID put its legislative weight behind efforts to revise FIRPTA. In December
2015, Congress passed the Real Estate Investment and Jobs Act, freeing up an
influx of new funds to boost construction. Here at Steinberg, we are now working
on six high rises and many other small projects across California, with a combined
construction value of nearly $750 million.
It’s important to note that the passage of the FIRPTA revision was supported by
the entire ASID community, even those who are not commercial designers. In the
future, there will certainly be other issues that will not directly affect my own practice
but will be good for our entire profession, and I will be there to speak up. It’s this
mutual support and unity that is the core of the ASID “One Voice” initiative: small
businesses and large firms, from all sectors of interior design, working as one to
advance our industry and to support each other. We can use One Voice to amplify
our messaging so that everyone, including our elected officials, understands the
impact that interior design has on the human experience.
There are many other topics in interior design that may not appear to be political
in nature but are potentially legislation related: universal design, ADA, the adoption
of the new WELL standard, and incentivizing adaptive reuse and building repositioning.
Paying attention to these issues means that I am localizing my politics. So, yeah,
maybe you can’t wait for the presidential race to be over. But please, remember
that politics isn’t just about the White House; politics, especially local races, can
affect your house.
Charrisse Johnston, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, Associate AIA, is the
chair of the Board of Directors, a principal, and the firm-wide interior
design practice leader at Steinberg Architects. Learn more about
ASID at ASID.org.
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We can use One Voice to amplify our messaging so that everyone, including our elected
officials, understands the impact that interior design has on the human experience.