8C —April 24 - May 14, 2020 — Spring Preview — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


I nterior D esign

By Richard Gacek, Gacek Design Group Adapting to the New Norm


based economist and consul- tant to American Society of In- terior Designers, (ASID). His projection for interior design is positive despite the corona- virus outbreak. In terms of a long term economic impact, Markstein projects growth in both the commercial and residential sectors throughout 2020 and 2021 and he has this advice for designers: “Now is the time to dig in and make your firm more resilient— reassuring existing clients, shoring up your network, and identifying ways to grow your business. It will hurt for a little bit,” he said, “but we will

get out of this.” The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), agrees. The report, 2020 Out- look and State of Interior De- sign, recently published and offers insight on the economic outlook, cultural trends and includes knowledge and sup- port needed for those practic- ing design. “Design is central to our lives and affects us every day,” comments Randy Fiser, ASIDCEO. “By examin- ing micro and macro-trends, we encourage designers to understand how extraneous factors, such as the impact of coronavirus on the global

et’s be honest, we’ve had a rough fewweeks. The coronavirus has

Obviously, the design in- dustry is not exempt from this story. Interior design firms are experiencing slowdowns, especially when it comes to consumer spending. Residen- tial clients are cutting back or delaying projects. For com- mercial clients, production has come to a halt, creating delayed construction time- lines. Trade partners and manufacturers have experi- enced shortages of materials and backorders on goods, working with skeleton staff- ing. “I am optimistic”, says Ber- nie Markstein, a Washington

economy, can have a profound effect on their practice.” The report focuses on the economy as well as the con- struction industry and talks about key indicators that will impact interior design. Even though a slowdown is anticipated in 2020, experts believe the design industry will operate at sustainable levels. Tariffs on products have significantly impacted the supply chain and will con- tinue to cause disruption. The housing market will remain generally healthy, however still faces a number of chal- lenges in 2020 - construc- tion activity and spending is anticipated to increase for the following sectors: single family construction, residen- tial improvements, and edu- cational facilities. The report also looks at global trends, especially those that relate to lifestyle. Trends include the following: - Organizations are focusing more and more on the human experience and turning to designers for solutions. Bio- philic design plays a role in accomplishing this. - Designers learn to better understand how and why we react to nature elements in built spaces. - Wellness is a way of life. - Living style choices are transcending generations, and creating an experience is a key strategy. - New materials and tech- nology are improving pro- ductivity, management and experience. Time to Adapt. The take- away is to provide flexible and innovative solutions in response to the challenging social climate. By nature, de- signers are creative problem solvers. We have the advan- tage of being predisposed to thinking outside the box, and using our skill set to create an outcome that is experiential, more functional and makes life easier. From a business perspective, it’s about navigat- ing the business differently, focusing on systems, general processes and improving how the business can adapt to this new normalcy. With the help of modern technology, the interior design industry has been set up to adapt to changes. Those that have em- braced technology have found that most of what designers do continued on page 16C

i m p a c t e d every single one o f us ; Death tolls are breaking news, cities are l ocked down, non- e s s e n t i a l businesses

Richard Gacek

are temporarily closed, people are losing their jobs, social distancing and working from home is the new norm. We are experiencing a change in the way we live each day.

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