is a freelance writer and regular contributor to
The Architect’s Newspaper, retrofit, and Retail Environments
magazine, as well as the editor-at-large of interiors+sources.
He also was a contributing author to the book, The State of the
Interior Design Profession (Fairchild, 2010), which was placed on
the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers’
“ 50 Must Read, Must Have” list.
The Future: Skills for Tomorrow
Within the framework of an ever-changing industry, how do educators ensure
students are prepared for an uncertain future? By making sure they’re as
well-rounded as possible, for starters, and by giving them the building blocks
they need to succeed.
“You try and teach them the seeds of as many different paths as you can,
or different threads that may develop in their future. [That way,] when
they encounter it in their work life, they can pick up that thread where they
started in school and develop it, really weave it into something that’s part of
their overall portfolio of skills,” Fisher explains.
Echoing her comments, Christian says it’s important for students to speak
the language of other fields fluently and understand the broader impact of
their work in terms of social responsibility and social justice. It’s about taking
responsibility for themselves as designers. “If students are able to do that
well—to represent those unrepresented people in the built environment and
really think about the broader consequences of the work they’re doing—
they can be nimble enough to work in any type of changing design climate,”
he says. “Having a comprehensive view of what your role is as a designer
is one way we hope to prepare them for a changing field.”
Similarly, Evans Warren adds the ability to communicate with a variety of
tools, be it hand or digital, is key, as well as “understanding the meaning and
the experience of spaces that you’re creating and the impact of those spaces
on the people that you’re designing for—that’s huge for us.”
At the end of the day, according to Fisher, the most critical thing educators
can pass on to the next design generation isn’t skills. It’s passion. “The truth
is,” she affirms, “we choose to be designers because this is what we love.
I want students to be able to find a way to rise above all the things that can
go wrong and find a sense of satisfaction and joy in the fact that something
they have had as an idea is now a place, a space, a room, or a building
into which they can walk and enjoy what they’ve created.”
design students about
different paths and
approaches to broaden
their portfolio of skills.
(Image: Daniel Von Appen