ASID Foundation Grant is Step in Right Direction

Kudos to the ASID Foundation for promoting research that, if publicized properly, will help to shift the paradigm of how society views the value of our service.

http://www.asidfoundation.org/Transform_2013.html#!

That said it seems like a rather large challenge. Go big or go to your well designed home I guess.

I hope the results will not require a statistician to interpret nor should those results be relegated to research journals where only future researchers and statisticians will be able to find value in it.

Should be interesting to see what comes of it.

ANOTHER LOST OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERIOR DESIGNERS…or is it?

Okay off of my legislation/regulation high horse for a moment….”whoaaa Nellie…somebody get me a step stool…” Even PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER missed this trend when it first became public over a year ago. Seems some entrepreneurial real estate developers are trying to weasel in our Health Safety and Welfare trifecta by creating residential real estate that literally improves your HEALTH and subsequently improving one’s WELFARE. If we assume the residences to be SAFE you have to admit that they have a runner on all three of our bases….and these are real estate people…..people.

So maybe I am jealous I did not think of this first…my hats off to the folks at Delos. First published in the Daily Beast here;

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/13/wellness-real-estate-for-the-green-1-percent.html

And then more widely publicized this past weekend in the New York Times here;

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/realestate/health-centric-homes-for-a-price.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1372771662-R3dJ91MTLtIa9m7apiBTLg

Why don’t we own this? This is all about interior space right?

Yes there is a bit of hucksterism and elitist sales pitching going on here, fortunately aimed at the uber-rich, but you have to admire the concept. Who would not want to live in a house that does not merely keep them healthy it actually improves their health. Granted most of the elements of Delos’ “health-centric” residences have been around for a couple of years…if not more. Anti-microbial self-cleaning ceramics, HEPA/Ultra-Violet filtration systems, Bio-Rhythmic LED lighting, and my favorite walls and windows -that attenuate outside sounds (duh!), are all tools that have been available to us (thanks mostly to USGBC). However, Mr. Scialla and his partners were the first to package it and they have even trademarked the concept. Not sure how that works but I am sure we’ll find out when another less ambitious developer or one of our interior design brethren decides to mimic the idea.

I do think ID educators and researchers have an opportunity here to fully investigate this new marketing approach to validate its effectiveness….it seems to ring true but what is the evidence and how can we help make the concept more affordable. I won’t get into the whole socio-economic bias here but let’s face it…eating healthy is more expensive than eating junk food or non- “organic” vegetables…so maybe this living healthy is a similar paradigm….another research topic no doubt.

This reminds me of the ” trend du’ 2006 “aging in place” in which the National Association of Home builders capitalized on the benefits of our tried and true “Universal Design” and packaged that knowledge and skill sets in a credential known as Certified Aging In Place Specialist or CAPS http://www.nahb.org/category.aspx?sectionID=686 .

Again we, as a professional domain should own this concept…nay many ASID’ers also claim the CAPS credential due to its marketing potential- kudos to the NAHB

So yes it is easy for me to pontificate to the drivers of this profession from the proverbial back seat but I have to say for creative problem solvers we sure miss some golden opportunities to advance the professional domain…and these opportunities don’t involve a bunch of political and legal drama.

It simply is what we do. Fail to define what we do and others will do it for us.

Carry on.

RETHINKING THE BUILDING PERFORMANCE PARADIGM

Over the past 20 years there has been a remarkable shift in how we design and build buildings. In response to a rising concern over the impact buildings have on our environment those who have even the most minute stake in creating the built environment are now aware, if not directly influenced by, the effort to minimize the impact construction and operation of buildings has on our eco-system. It has changed the way we think and the way we work. Sustainability is now a real and achievable goal instead of some abstract and fringe ideal.

Initially we were happy to be less bad. Then we realized that creating buildings that had zero impact on the ecosystem was possible. Now with the living building challenge (https://ilbi.org/lbc) we are actually creating buildings that contribute, or give back, to the ecosystem. Think about that for a minute……..

We have actually gone from a Chartreuse green to vivid green in one generation.

This is a real and important paradigm shift that in itself is sustainable, as it should be.

Most of us are familiar with all of the various measuring/rating systems used to evaluate and verify that a building, its designers, its constructors and its owners are in fact building green if not sustainably. USGBC’s LEED being the most prominent and influential of those rating models https://new.usgbc.org/

Unfortunately in PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER’s opinion the bulk of these rubrics and validation models are based on how well the building has been designed, built and/or how well it performs. It seems that it is a foregone conclusion that if the building is environmentally sensitive then the actual occupants and users of that building will perform well too. Hence the point of this thread.

HUMAN PERFORMANCE vs. BUILDING PERFORMANCE

We all get that buildings influence human behavior and for the existentialists in the audience we humans influence how buildings behave- I digress. The human/environmental relationship is clear and the evidence, both positive and negative is copious. Architects and Interior Designers have been performing post occupancy evaluations for years but the data rarely results in widespread recognition or public outreach. The answer is out there.

What we need is a universal and uniform rubric…..and no I am not talking about some arcane research project in which the data is understood only by the research statistician. We need a rating system that assesses how the users/occupants of a building, green or not, perform. This rating system needs to be publicly accessible and pre-school clear- akin to the LEED certification model which uses valuable metals as a coding system. It could be as simple as;

FAILS TO MEET BASIC HUMAN PERFORMANCE/USER WELL BEING EXPECTATIONS

MEETS BASIC HUMAN PERFORMANCE/USER WELL-BEING EXPECTATIONS

EXCEEDS BASIC HUMAN PERFORMANCE/USER WELL-BEING EXPECTATIONS

I will leave the actual semantics to you. I would also suggest that the actual award be something more substantial than a glass plate. Just sayin’

This is a tremendous opportunity for the interior design profession. The USGBC was initiated by a group of concerned manufacturers and vendors. They have the financial where with all to support such a rating system for human performance and user well-being. We are the ones with the knowledge and moral obligation. So the idea is out there…..which one of our professional domains will grab it and run with it?

So how about it Steelcase, Herman Miller, Johnson Controls, Philips Lighting, Interface, USG……..and on and on….ready to shift another paradigm?

A Case for Promoting Interior Design as Life Savers…..No Really!

Or making the case for health trumping safety in our hs&w public relations trifecta                 Kudos to Perkins + Will for changing the paradigm of the traditional Architecture and Design services firm.  While Perkins + Will has a long history of leadership in both the healthcare and sustainable […]