The Big Reveal: International Interior Design Association Opens New HQ During NeoCon

Photo credit: Michelle Litvin Studio

Photo credit: Michelle Litvin Studio

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), a global alliance of more than 15,000 commercial interior design professionals representing 58 countries, announced the unveiling of its newly relocated international headquarters sited in an iconic Mies van der Rohe tower at 111 E. Wacker Dr. in the heart of downtown Chicago. The 17,000-square-foot space, with sweeping views of the city and the Chicago River, puts human potential at the forefront.  When doors officially open on June 12, the project’s essential design intent will be revealed: that place, people, culture, and brand matter in the workplace.    

“IIDA leads commercial design excellence across the globe and advocates on behalf of its network of practitioners who consistently seek to elevate the profession. We have a deep understanding of how design impacts lives,” said Cheryl S. Durst, IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “Our new headquarters celebrates the workplace and demonstrates how purpose, function, product, and aesthetic come together to encourage productivity, health, and wellness through human-centered design.”

The new HQ is a next-generation model of living design, serving as a home base for the association’s 25 employees and for design industry professionals at large. The space features light-filled offices and conference rooms and an array of inviting public areas for people to meet and collaborate. An elegant mosaic-tiled entryway opens to a clean white canvas that allows the office’s expansive city views to captivate and motivate. Pops of color come from unexpected places: a resilient floor with floral design that punctuates select work spaces with playful flourishes. The headquarters’ state-of-the-art IDEA Studio is a hub of social and educational activity both day and night with a variety of events for the design community planned throughout the year.

The boundary-pushing IIDA Headquarters was designed by Contract magazine’s 2016 Designer of the Year, Todd Heiser, IIDA, Design Principal and Studio Design Leader in Gensler’s D.C. office, and features Herman Miller’s innovative Living Office concept serving as the backbone of the project.

“The opportunity to create the new IIDA Headquarters spoke directly to my passion to redefine design’s purpose,” said Heiser, who uses his architectural background and interior design acumen to design groundbreaking environments that respond to the evolving needs of today’s workplace and to enhance the human condition.  “I found endless inspiration from all aspects of this project: the physical space, which is stunning, and the world-class lineup of manufacturers who contributed to this high-profile and large-scale project. And, most of all, I was inspired by the driven and determined people who are the heart and soul of this visionary association.”

Manufacturers with a wide range of specialties have contributed product to the landmark space, creating an environment that is truly representative of the design industry as a whole. They include Adotta, Agati, Daltile, Delta Lighting, Formica Corporation, Herman Miller, IdeaPaint, Johnsonite a Tarkett Company, Knoll Textiles, Lindsey Adelman, Maya Romanoff, Maharam, McGrory Glass, MechoShade, Mohawk Industries, MOSS, OFS Brands, Shaw Contract Group, Sherwin Williams, Sicis, Tandus Centiva a Tarkett Company, 3M, Thomas Interiors, Tuohy, and USG Corporation.

The new IIDA Headquarters will be commemorated with an open house for the design community titled “IIDA Headquarters: Unveiled” from 3-6 p.m. on Monday, June 12. Press tours can be arranged by contacting Ciara Merouan of Jo Chicago Public Relations.