• By Richard Gacek, Gacek Design Group

Adapting to the New Norm


Let’s be honest, we’ve had a rough few weeks. The coronavirus has impacted every single one of us; Death tolls are breaking news, cities are locked down, non-essential businesses are temporarily closed, people are losing their jobs, social distancing and working from home is the new norm. We are experiencing a change in the way we live each day. Obviously, the design industry is not exempt from this story. Interior design firms are experiencing slowdowns, especially when it comes to consumer spending. Residential clients are cutting back or delaying projects. For commercial clients, production has come to a halt, creating delayed construction timelines. Trade partners and manufacturers have experienced shortages of materials and backorders on goods, working with skeleton staffing. “I am optimistic”, says Bernie Markstein, a Washington based economist and consultant to American Society of Interior Designers, (ASID). His projection for interior design is positive despite the coronavirus outbreak. In terms of a long term economic impact, Markstein projects growth in both the commercial and residential sectors throughout 2020 and 2021 and he has this advice for designers: “Now is the time to dig in and make your firm more resilient—reassuring existing clients, shoring up your network, and identifying ways to grow your business. It will hurt for a little bit,” he said, “but we will get out of this.”The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), agrees. The report, 2020 Outlook and State of Interior Design, recently published and offers insight on the economic outlook, cultural trends and includes knowledge and support needed for those practicing design. “Design is central to our lives and affects us every day,” comments Randy Fiser, ASID CEO. “By examining micro and macro-trends, we encourage designers to understand how extraneous factors, such as the impact of coronavirus on the global economy, can have a profound effect on their practice.” The report focuses on the economy as well as the construction industry and talks about key indicators that will impact interior design. Even though a slowdown is anticipated in 2020, experts believe the design industry will operate at sustainable levels. READ MORE

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