have learned not only how to coexist, but how to grow from such convergence.
This evolution has happened as much from opportunity as necessity.
Beyond our own accumulated experience, we have access to resources
and alliances around the world. With just a mouse click, we can source
artisan products and deep specializations to fulfill
virtually any design need. There is tremendous
freedom in looking beyond our usual boundaries,
and, most important, it’s a reflection of where our
industry is going.
But what makes interior designers uniquely
able to facilitate these kinds of multidisciplinary
We are knowledge seekers. Not only do we
need to understand the fundamentals of our own
profession, which are constantly shifting and broadening with new approaches and technologies, we
must understand what other professionals can
bring to the table. Together, we can grow from our
collective experience. As well, we must continue to
grow as individuals. ASID’s Learning Management
System, which offers a wealth of online continuing
education opportunities, is just one example of a
resource that helps build competencies across all
We are also collaborators and conveners. Our
role in the design process is rarely one of working in
a silo. Instead, we curate talent, bringing together the
people and the abilities that deliver success for our
clients. Sometimes that’s outside of our profession.
Human resources experts, technologists, fabricators,
and more can play key roles in delivering a cohesive,
effective end product. We can’t be afraid of losing
our identity in the process or giving something up.
We move forward as professionals when we open
ourselves to connecting with others to devise the
best possible solutions.
After all, good design is not only innovative, it is
iterative. It requires us, as professionals, to identify
the essential skill sets needed for a given challenge,
apply them in highly creative ways and—when the
outcome is truly special—learn from the experience
and apply it again.
We are also, quite simply, people. Our personal
histories, experiences, and points of view inform and
permeate not only our own work but the work we
do in tandem with the greater, multidisciplinary
design team. Working as part of a synchronized
group doesn’t mean leaving behind one’s convictions
or strengths. It means being part of something
much greater than ourselves to the benefit of all
Sandy Gordon, FASID, LEED AP, is the chair of the Board of Directors
for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and principal of
SGI Interiors in Madison, Wis. Learn more about ASID at ASID.org.
When furniture is so elegant it turns heads, so durable it looks as
good in year 10 as the day it was installed and so versatile it feels
right at home in many environments…you can be sure it’s Kwalu. We
have dozens of finish options and hundreds of products, all backed
by our unique 10-year performance warranty; all Designed to Last®.
© Amber Frederiksen Photography
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ASID’s Learning Management System, which offers a wealth of online
continuing education opportunities, is just one example of a resource
that helps build competencies across all design disciplines.