Is it just another case of ARCHITECTURAL in-DIGEST-ion?
Architectural Digest is a American monthly magazine. Its principal subject is interior design, not architecture as the name of the magazine might suggest … ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architectural_Digest )
Okay enough wordplay….where am I going with this? The past couple of weeks have been very enlightening for Professionalinteriordesigner. I have attended several conferences and professional presentations in which the focus was interior design education and the state of the art in workplace design. I can honestly say that after sitting through at least 15 hours of presentations and discussions specifically pertaining to “Interior Design” I did not see one picture of a “beautiful”, “award winning”, “magazine-worthy”, “sumptuous”, “cozy” or “insert your own mindless adjective here” interior space.
My take on this is that more (and more) of us are now focused on identifying the design problem at hand, analyzing the process by which the design problem was solved and most importantly confirming whether the final design solution contributed to the betterment of our built environment. It’s not how good the space looks…it’s whether the space actually improved the lives and/or livelihoods of the occupants. Aesthetics is no longer the primary defining quality of a successful project. The pretty picture of some unlivable or unworkable interior tableau is becoming our professional albatross. Many of our so-called Interior Design trade magazines continue to ahem….dwell on the image and not the substance. I have experienced many an interior space that photographed well but was unlivable. Why do we continue to celebrate this?
Oh I know this high faluttin’ type of intellectual validation has been going on for some time now..particularly amongst us academics. But given the inability of our profession to distinguish itself and validate its value to society merely by how good we can make a space look the time is right for a paradigm shift…. the reality is in fact changing. Design educators get-it. Our students get-it. Now if our professional organizations would collectively “get-it” maybe we can achieve the level of respect that we deserve without pissing off our peers or getting bogged down in a seemingly intractable legal battle that serves no real purpose.