The 2018 IIDA Industry Roundtable Report

The 2018 IIDA Industry Roundtable Report on the Business of Design is now available.

In early January, industry thought leaders convened for the 21st annual International Interior Design Association Industry Roundtable. This yearly event is both a temperature taking of the current sociocultural moment and an opportunity to look ahead to future challenges and opportunities.

Previous roundtable topics have ranged from ways to leverage economic volatility to the in uence of social media. This year’s agenda was particularly ambitious: to contemplate the business of design via the lters of pressure, place, performance, pro t, strategy, and innovation. 

The conversation, moderated by Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA, was structured around a lineup of guest speakers who divulged helpful insight about their own design companies’ business strategies, approaches to innovation, and experiences navigating disruption in industries ranging from graphic design to transportation/automotive. Michael F. Ramirez, Herman Miller’s former executive vice president of people, places, and administration, kicked o the presentations with a meditation on the employee experience. He was followed by communications consultant Ken Schmidt, who spoke candidly and humorously about his role in—and lessons learned from—the Harley-Davidson turnaround in the late 1980s. Dana Arnett and Patrick Palmer of VSA Partners discussed how data is increasingly and advantageously informing their design work, and how they pivoted their business in a new direction to make that happen. Lastly, Johannes Lampela of Designworks LA, a BMW Group Company, discussed his rm’s methodology and culture of innovation.