Design = Innovation
Randy W. Fiser
Traditionally, the definitions for design and innovation are exceptionally similar.
Each involves artistically planning for a definitive purpose and the forming
in the mind of a concept for skillful execution. When it comes to innovation in
the design field, the possibilities for residential and commercial interiors are
increasingly as vast as the curiosity and imagination of the minds behind them.
Designers must not only stay on top of the latest in color, materials, and lifestyle
preferences, but be informed as to emerging technologies, workplace research,
and advances in healing, education, psychology, and more. Put simply, innovative
design is responsible for satisfying our very human need to be inspired by our
surroundings at every turn.
Innovation is at the heart of this issue of i+D, as the stories dive into exemplary
projects and products from across the U.S. and Canada. Bench, Booz Allen
Hamilton, and Capital One stress the importance of transforming their corporate
environments into inspiring workplaces in “Innovation at Work” (p. 28). Such
support and direction from those at the top of the corporate ladder mean each
of these corporation’s “entrepreneurial” employees are comfortable, creative,
For residences in “Next Gen Home” (p. 38), the potential for a fully connected
“smart home,” where the technology learns to work better for those who live in it,
is examined as an increasingly everyday reality. “The Healing Power of Design”
(p. 44) emphasizes how healthful living and healing go far beyond treatment and
care plans and how color, art, and research are among the design elements that
can work in tandem to aid in recovery. And, “Designed for Learning” (p. 52) looks
at the power of place in relation to a vibrant educational experience for any age
or learning ability level, a topic close to the heart of Paula Wallace, president of
the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and the subject of this issue’s
“ICONic Profile” (p. 50).
Interior design is powerful in that it can heal, it can teach, it can comfort, and it
can inspire. Design and innovation have never been one-dimensional topics, but
the inevitable evolution (and revolution) of both—as like-minded concepts—
AN INSIDE VIEW