Interior designers create the spaces where we spend 93 percent of our time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Better yet: Industry data suggests the interior design industry has made a full recovery since 2008. It is, once again, a hot job market. By the numbers, here’s the good news about the state of the industry:
- Total number of design firms: 13,257, increase of 7.5%1 from pre-recession levels
- Total number of designers up 10,000 or 33% since 20122
- Value of product specified annually by U.S. and Canadian designers is $68.5 billion, up 35% since 2010, adjusted for inflation3
So the obvious next question is what trends will be the most transformative? After an extensive review, ASID identified key trends that will influence the way designers create the spaces we live, work, and play in.
Health & Well-Being
The global health and wellness economy has hit the trillion dollar mark. So it’s no surprise that interior designers see this trend as having tremendous impact on projects over the next year. Thought leaders surveyed by the ASID voted design for healthy behaviors and holistic design thinking as the most transformative and fastest moving. And it’s not just physical health that matters—wellness expands to mental and social well-being as well. Objects that offer connections to nature are an obvious way to bring soothing, natural views and imagery to homes and offices. Comfortable, inviting chairs are another, and will increasingly make their way into spaces specifically designed for relaxation or meditation.
Sustainability isn’t a new movement, but it continues to gain traction across business sectors, including interior design. In 2015, a full 40% of design projects included sustainable elements either requested by the client or suggested by the designer. As certification bodies, governmental policies, and other advocates continue to raise the bar, sustainability is growing to become more than simply energy optimization. There is a strong overlap between sustainability and overall health and wellness. This is why biomimicry design—modeling environments after nature—is increasingly finding its way into both residential and commercial buildings.
The world is more interconnected than ever, so, too, must be the world of interior design, working across borders and traveling abroad for a taste of international flavors. U.S. corporations continue to open offices, factories, and retail locations overseas. Foreign firms, likewise, are opening doors on our shores. Design can no longer simply be limited to single cultures and locations, but instead must transcend boundaries as designers, clients, and consumers become more diversified. For designers, this means the world, quite literally, is at their fingertips. Those that embrace this trend will thrive.
All data from the American Society of Interior Designers’ Interior Design 2015/2016 Outlook and State of the Industry
1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Employment and Wages
2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Survey
3 Interior Design’s 2014 Universe Study of the Interior Design Profession; includes
U.S. & Canadian designers whose firms specify at least $500,000 per year